Uhuru set for farewell visit to Kisumu days to general election

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks to residents of Kisumu

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks to residents of Kisumu during a past visit. The President will be making probably his final visit to Kisumu County as Head of State in what is being viewed as a farewell to residents, with whom he has cultivated a strong bond in the last four years.

Photo credit: File | PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta will be making probably his final visit to Kisumu County as Head of State in what is being viewed as a farewell to residents, with whom he has cultivated a strong bond in the last four years.

He will, of course, be accompanied by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga. Their reunion through the March 9, 2018 Handshake calmed the tension that had been witnessed after the controversial 2017 election.

The visit comes days to the general election, with analysts feeling it will also act as a final plea to rally Mr Odinga’s backyard to support his candidacy to the last man—and woman. The presence of the President is to further strengthen his relationship with Mr Odinga and assure locals that he will be entrusting his handshake partner with the task of moving the country forward through life-changing projects and initiatives as witnessed in Kisumu.

Trips after handshake

The many trips Mr Kenyatta has made to the Lakeside city since the handshake are definitely more than he has ever made individually and in his term as the Head of State. He appeared to have fallen in love with Kisumu that at some point he jokingly requested to be allowed to marry a lady from the county.

“I was telling Raila here and with the permission of my wife, maybe I can get someone from this side of the Lake to take care of me, so that I can visit confidently knowing someone will prepare for me ugali,” said Mr Kenyatta in 2020.

After the Handshake between the duo, many development projects were initiated from 2018 and the ones that had stalled for years revamped.

In his visit slated for Tuesday next week as relayed to journalists by the Government Spokesperson’s Office, the President is set to preside over, among other things, the commissioning of the Kisumu Ship Yard and the floatation of MV Uhuru II Wagon Ferry on Tuesday. The increased utilisation of the revitalised Kisumu Port received a further boost with the construction of the new MV Uhuru II cargo vessel.

The vessel, according to Kenya Railways and Kenya Ports Authority, will have a carrying capacity of 1,800 tonnes—540 tonnes more than the refurbished MV Uhuru I. It costs $20 per tonne to transport cargo via the lake compared to $36 by road.

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