Work with Uhuru, elders urge coast leaders

Coast elders have met in demonstration of unity and asked elected local leaders to take cue and work with the Government for the sake of development.

The elders, under the auspices of Coast Councils of Elders (CCEs), told local MPs who had not embraced the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga they risked being isolated.

Speaking at a Mombasa hotel yesterday, the elders from Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Tana River and Lamu counties also urged the Government to confirm Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) acting Managing Director Daniel Manduku.

Dr Manduku has been acting managing director for the last five months, since the ouster of Catherine Mturi-Wairi. The position was advertised last week.

Vincent Mwachiro, the CCE chair, said they would campaign against elected leaders who would not have worked with Government for failing to support the development of the region.

Mr Mwachiro, also the chairman of the Mijikenda Council of Elders, wondered why some Coast leaders were still resisting the handshake.

“We, therefore, urge all Opposition leaders to enhance national unity and work with the Government so that their constituencies can benefit from Government development programmes,” the elders said in a statement.

They expressed concern over cases of teen pregnancy, killing of old men and women over witchcraft claims,and called for revival of collapsed Kilifi cashew factory.

Mr Alex Komora, chairman of the Gasa Council of Elders from Tana River County, called on the Government should work closely with elders from communities across the country to end early pregnancies.

Kenneth Mwalengu, who represented the Taita Taveta Council of Elders, urged the Government to embark on the revival of Kilifi cashew and Mariakani milk plants that collapsed decades ago.