Uhuru skips meeting with senators, MCAs

No one presented his speech, State House spokesperson could not confirm tour

In Summary

• Sources among organisers reveal that Ruto is also likely to skip the event.

• More than 4,000 delegates attended the Legislative Summit.

President Uhuru Kenyatta when he was hosted to State dinner by Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth
President Uhuru Kenyatta when he was hosted to State dinner by Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday skipped the fourth annual Legislative Summit in Kisumu.

He was expected to give a keynote address, award national honours to county assembly speakers and launch the global champion for youth agenda. 

The Head of State was scheduled to open the event at 10am. 

Nobody represented or read his speech.

More than 4,000 delegates attended the summit that brought together senators, MCAs from the 47 county assemblies and partners at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel from April 15 to 18.

Uhuru, however, failed to come, disappointing a number of leaders and residents. 

MCAs had high expectations he would address their resolutions of the pre-summit that was held in Mombasa. 

Kisumu residents expected the President to address the progress of devolution, the handshake, development and his fight against corruption. 

Moses Ochieng, a resident of Obunga, said they eagerly waited for Uhuru only to be disappointed. 

“We wanted him to talk to us and address some of the issues we feel are affecting the nation,” he said.

Vegetable vendor Joyce Auma also had high hopes on Kenyatta's tour of Kisumu.

“Last time he was in the region he launched projects which are of benefit to us. We expected him to come and tell us the progress of ongoing government programmes,” she said. 

Deputy President William Ruto and AU Special Envoy for Infrastructure Raila Odinga are also expected to attend the summit.

Raila is slated to give his speech today, while the DP will close the forum tomorrow. 

But sources among the organisers revealed that Ruto is also likely to skip the event.

On Sunday, State House spokesperson Kanze Dena could not confirm the President’s tour. 

But Nyanza police commander Vincent Makhoha said preparations for the event were complete.

He told the Star on phone that there is enough security in place. President Kenyatta has toured Nyanza twice in six months after the last year March 9 handshake. 

Last year, he toured Kisumu and Siaya counties where he launched development projects. 

On January 19 accompanied by Raila, Kenyatta attended the burial of the former Youth Enterprise Development Fund chairman Bruce Odhiambo in Koru, Muhoroni. 

He also toured Kisii alongside Ruto and Raila on February 20 where he launched projects.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, County Assemblies Forum vice chairperson Esther Ndile, Senate Minority and Majority leaders James Orengo and Kipchumba Murkomen were present.

Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa spoke on aligning existing policies and legislation to achieve the Big Four agenda. 

He said county governments have a bigger role to play on formulation of policies on the realisation of manufacturing, affordable housing and universal healthcare and food security.

Wamalwa told county assemblies to work together with the national government. “Counties need to formulate policies on disaster management,” he added.

He also asked county governments to put in place policies that will spur development and service delivery to residents.

Edited by R.Wamochie