President Uhuru Kenyatta has arrived in Kakamega ahead of Mashujaa Day celebrations tomorrow, as the region’s leaders plan to reap from the occasion.
Mr Kenyatta first landed at Kisumu airport at around 6pm and later flew to Kakamega via a military helicopter, accompanied by his wife Margaret.
He is also expected to be joined by his Namibian counterpart Hage Geingob.
Prior to their arrival, Kakamega Town was bubbling with activities ahead of the event to be held at Bukhungu stadium.
Interior Security Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Senator Cleophas Malala visited the venue to inspect the progress of the preparations.
Mr Kibicho said the national and county governments partnered to improve infrastructure and other facilities to ensure everything runs smoothly.
“We are appealing to residents to turn up in large numbers since adequate preparations have been made to accommodate up to 40,000 people at the stadium,” Mr Kibicho said.
Senator Malala said leaders from western region will meet President Kenyatta to discuss the revival of Mumias Sugar Company.
“We have agreed as leaders to present three key issues when we meet President Kenyatta at the Kakamega State Lodge. We will be asking the government to give priority to plans for revival of the sugar miller, which is an economic lifeline of the region,” he said.
The other issue is soliciting support from the national government to help operationalise the Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital that is being constructed at a cost of Sh6 billion.
With the celebrations hours away, the residents are marvelling at the transformation ushered in by the improved infrastructure.
From Shirere, just after the Isiukhu bridge on the Kakamega-Kisumu road, a carnival mood was palpable when one drove into Kakamega Town, which is transforming into a 24-hour business hub.
The main Kakamega-Kisumu dual highway has been festooned with the national and county flags.
Street lights have been erected in the central business district and along major roads, with residents of Amalemba, Maeraba, Town Scheme, Lurambi, Lutonyi and Murrum estates benefitting.
For the past one month, officials have been working to clean-up the town as Governor Oparanya banks on the attention the event will generate nationwide to market his region’s economic potential.
In a past interview, he said 600 kilometres of roads have been tarmacked in the last four years.
“We have focused on improving infrastructure in the county – including roads and health facilities – to transform Kakamega into a thriving economy and an attractive destination for investors,” he said.
Kakamega airstrip has also been rehabilitated.
However, the event has also brought gloom after kiosks were pulled down and traders relocated away from the CBD in a decongestion attempt.
Some of the lined-up events include performances by Isukuti dancers, bullfighting contests and cockfights.
Hoteliers expect to make huge profits from the occasion.
By Daily Nation