President Uhuru Kenyatta appears to have sidelined parliamentarians from the Coast during his extended tour of the region. A majority of the MPs are in Nasa, the Opposition coalition, but are now allied to Deputy President William Ruto.
The Head of State has been engaging in impromptu visits to various development projects across the region, often in the company of government officials and ward representatives.
This contrasts sharply with Mr Ruto’s visits, during which scores of local MPs and Jubilee officials line up to receive the DP and are often invited to his events.
Yesterday, two MPs who have been gravitating towards Mr Ruto told the Nation that they were neither aware nor were they invited during President Kenyatta’s visits to their constituencies.
Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire said he got wind that the President was in his constituency to inspect the Bamba-Mariakani road while on his way to Malindi to attend a court case.
Area MCA Christopher Mwambire also said he was surprised to learn that the President was addressing locals at Bamba town.
At Samburu in Kwale County, Mr Kenyatta was received by Kasemeni Ward MCA Anthony Yama. Missing at the impromptu visit was Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari.
Yesterday, Mr Tayari sought to downplay his glaring absence, saying that the President’s tour was a “private” one as the area leaders were not invited.
“I got the information when the President was already on the ground and that is when I asked the area MCA to attend since none of us had been invited,” Mr Tayari said on phone.
Lands Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Gideon Mung’aro, one of the top Jubilee leaders in the region, was also among those caught unawares by Mr Kenyatta’s visit.
Ironically, Mr Munga’aro hardly misses Mr Ruto’s visits to the region. Yesterday, he said that he was unaware of the President’s visit since he is now based at Ardhi House in Nairobi.
“The President is making his own impromptu inspection tours to check on projects, which is his right as Head of State,” said Mr Mung’aro on phone. Only Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya is said to have met the President at his residence in Mombasa.
Speaking when he visited the Kenya Medical Training College at Msambweni on Thursday in the company of Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, Coast regional police boss Noah Mwivanda and regional coordinator Bernard Leparmarai, President Kenyatta said he was there to check on development projects.
“We want to see the progress of roads being built here and ensure they are going on smoothly. We want the roads to be completed on time,” he said.
On the same day, he visited Vanga, Lunga Lunga constituency to inspect the 15km Lunga Lunga — Vanga road.
Here, he was received by the local MCA Yusuf Mbwana, with the MP Khatib Mwashetani, a Jubilee stalwart in the region, nowhere to be seen.
On Thursday, President Kenyatta’s motorcade left for the Moi International Airport at around 10am where he boarded a Kenya Airforce chopper and headed to Kwale.
He was back in Mombasa at around 2.30pm with his helicopter landing at the Mombasa Golf Club where he had lunch before proceeding to State House.
In Kwale, the President’s visit caught locals by surprise. He landed at the KMTC grounds in Msambweni before heading to inspect the 23km Milalani-Kilulu-Mivumoni road, which was launched by Deputy President William Ruto in March.
President Kenyatta’s handlers have been silent on his activities at the Coast. A source close to State House who asked not to be named said President Kenyatta, who has been operating from his private residences in Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi County and Nyali, Mombasa left Nairobi so that he “could address some key sensitive issues in a quiet and less busy environment.”
Among those the Head of State is said to have met are Nasa leader Raila Odinga, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, a team spearheading the Building Bridges initiative and a number of Cabinet Secretaries.