Kisii Governor Simba Arati (pictured) has said that he will engage with President William Ruto for the sake of the county's development agenda but he is firmly in ODM party.
Mr Arati told The Standard that his meeting with the President was to have him sign a Sovereign Guarantee for the Sh500 billion medical city project to be established under Kenya-United Kingdom Health Alliance and Sustainable Urban Economic Development programmes in Kisii.
The governor said that he met the President in the company of Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, National Assembly Majority Whip Silvanus Osoro and Kisii Deputy Governor Robert Monda at State House Nairobi on Friday where their discussions centred on how to implement the project.
“I have met the President thrice in one week over this mega medical city project that is to be done in a collaboration between Kenya and Britain with Manchester University and Kisii University being key players in an initiative started by the previous regime,” he said.
The governor said the 47 counties have no choice but to work with the Kenya Kwanza government for the sake of development.
He revealed that the President asked the Education CS and his Health counterpart Susan Wafula to develop a Cabinet memo to be presented in the next Cabinet meeting.
Arati said during an earlier meeting with Ruto they were joined by investors from Britain.
“It is now time to deliver to my people, if this Sh500 billion initiative is actualised during my tenure then I would have left a legacy for the people who elected me, I have no choice but to work with the President and other key players to ensure that this is achieved,” he said.
Ruto also held a separate meeting with 12 Members of Parliament from Kisii and Nyamira counties drawn from Kenya Kwanza Alliance and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya in what political pundits believe are efforts to rally the region behind his administration.
A section of the Gusii MPs told The Standard that the President promised to complete pending projects in Kisii and Nyamira counties and consider the community for government appointments.
MPs in attendance were Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango), Silvanus Osoro (South Mugirango), Alpha Miruka ( Bomachoge Chache), Innocent Obiri( Bobasi), Jerusha Momanyi( Nyamira County), Samuel Arama(Nakuru Town West) and Dorice Aburi (Kisii Woman Rep).
Others are MPs Daniel Manduku (Nyaribari Masaba), Zahir Jhanda (Nyaribari Chache), Steve Mogaka (West Mugirango), Gloria Orwoba (Nominated Senator) and Charles Onchoke (Bonchari).
Leaders absent with apology were Richard Onyonka (Kisii Senator), Okong'o Omogeni (Nyamira Senator), Anthony Kibagendi (Kitutu Chache South), Esther Anyieni (Nominated Senator), Obadiah Barongo (Bomachoge Borabu) and Patrick Osero (Borabu).
Nyamoko who is the Chairman of the Gusii Parliamentary Caucus told The Standard that the President was keen on delivering election promises made to the Gusii.
“We held very fruitful discussion with the President where among the key agenda was the commencement of the Sh6 billion Bonyunyu dam which will provide an adequate supply of water to the residents of Kisii and Nyamira counties when complete,” he said.
The North Mugirango MP said that the legislators promised to support Kenya Kwanza development agenda for the sake of the people.
Mr Osoro who is the National Assembly Majority Whip said that Machogu and Arati met the President to seek support for 60,000 housing project and the medical city project in Kisii county.
The South Mugirango MP said the President was working to galvanise the Gusii region to his side.
“The President has good plans for the people of Kisii and Nyamira counties we have several stalled projects that he promised to complete, he asked us to work closely with him to ensure that the residents benefit since they were more interested in service delivery,” said Osoro.
Mr Onyonka who was away in South Sudan for East African Parliament Sports said that the Gusii were looking at what the President has to offer them and they would support him since elections are over and it was time to work for the people.
The Kisii Senator said that the Gusii were strategising for the future and that if Ruto delivers on election promises to the region they consider supporting his re-election bid come 2027.
Mr Kibagendi who was also away in South Sudan noted that the region has several pending projects that require the attention of the President and the elected leaders have no option but to work closely with him.
“What I know is that President William Ruto does not forget people who are loyal to him, I am very sure that our community will definitely get more lucrative appointments in his government before he fully constitutes his administration,” he said.
Ms Orwoba revealed that the President requested the leaders to work together and not allow their political persuasion to affect service delivery.
Political Analyst Danstan Omari urged the leaders to separate politics and development since the residents were now interested in what they have to offer which they will use to hold them accountable come to the 2027 elections.
Mr Omari said that it was a wise decision for the Gusii leaders to work with the government of the day despite their political affiliation since the electorate would not re-elect a leader based on how much he criticized the government but on what he delivered.
“The decision by Gusii leaders to work with the President is a welcome move since they have no choice but to work with the government of the day since Ruto holds the knife that will determine the amount of national cake our people will get,” he said.