UDA chaps asked President Uhuru rather loudly to “stop hiding at State House” and come out and face them in the trenches if he wants to sell the Azimio Coalition and his Jubilee party to Kenyans for the 2022 presidential and general elections.
Well as they say be careful what you wish for. Uhuru is coming out there next week and he does not need to be screaming on top of cars. He certainly won’t sit on or carry any leaking wheelbarrows.
Uhuru wants to tell Kenyans what he has done for the country during his two terms as their president and to negotiate with the citizens on which direction the country needs to take to advance peace and prosperity in the country.
The one thing President Uhuru does not have to tell Kenyans is that the country has been peaceful and quite united during his rule. For the first time that I can remember in my lifetime, we have not had a president yelling at the citizens, threatening the opposition with dire consequences if they say this or that, or just storming across the country like it is their property and we all must keep quiet and lie low.
That has been a needed breath of fresh political air and oxygen for our country and I have no doubt Kenyans value that dearly and we need that to continue. There is nothing more scary to the citizens than an angry belligerent president whom you have to make happy all the time or they go up in smoke to blow you up.
In terms of development, I came across a collection of seven projects compiled by a writer at Citizen TV listing some of the really outstanding projects that may be a key part of President Kenyatta’s legacy.
I will just pick a few of those.
- Nairobi Expressway
This is one of the key pillars of President Uhuru’s landmark projects right in the heart of the country in our capital city.
The 27.1km expressway project runs from Mlolongo through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) past the city center to Westlands and will cost Ksh73.5 billion.
As we know Nairobi city belongs to all Kenyans and it is one of the biggest and most advanced cities in Africa and is well known around the globe. Making Nairobi’s transport system functional and efficient is key to our development as a country in all aspects including commerce, employment, tourism, safety of Kenyans as well as our pride and dignity as a country.
Nairobi city has a population of 4 million people or possibly more. In many parts of the world that is the population of a whole country. Uhuru bringing Nairobi up the scales in all areas of development is bringing our country up big time.
2. Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)
The 472km Nairobi-Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway project was launched in 2014 and completed in 2017 at a cost of Ksh.339 billion.
The SGR replaces our medieval railway system appropriately named the Lunatic Express built by the British colonial occupiers in the early 20the century to facilitate commercial activity from the Mombasa port to Kenyan inland and all the way to Uganda.
I have had a great personal experience with the SGR rail when I was in Kenya for the 2017 elections. I was there with my then 18-year-old son born here in Canada who loves going to Kenya all the time and he just wanted to travel in the SGR so that he can see the whole country. We did exactly that and it takes about five hours from Nairobi to Mombasa and you actually have a decent place to sit down and relax.
I used to travel on the old train to Mombasa all the time because I was working at Mombasa polytechnic from 1984 to 1986.
To say that journey was a nightmare is to make a joke. It was packed with everything apart from the human beings. Passengers had everything in there except their cows that must have been sent to save the people of DRC.
Read: Ruto becoming recklessly unbalanced: According to him Opposition failed Kenyans and DRC has no single cow
We had chicken in there. All sorts of foodstuff. You were lucky if you had a floor to lie on. My uncle was a superintendent at the Railway headquarters in Nairobi so he would get me good tickets. Other than that you were on your own.
There is still a lot of work to be done with the SGR but it is a foundational infrastructure project for our country and every country needs those and we are going to get where we want with the SGR. Of course, now there is a connection with the SGR to Kisumu using a simpler rail system. I can’t wait to get inside that one on my way from Nairobi to Kisumu.
3. Kipevu Oil Terminal
The Ksh.40 billion project encompasses an offshore island terminal with four jetties measuring 770 meters long.
According to the Kenya Ports Authority, the new facility is capable of handling six different hydrocarbon import and export products, including aviation fuel, diesel and petrol.
4. The Kisumu Port
The whole world knows that Lake Victoria (Nam Lolwe) is the third-largest freshwater lake on planet earth.
This lake combines our entire East African region like nothing else you can think of. It is a source of food for Kenyans, Ugandans, and Tanzanians. That itself says a lot.
When the East African Community infrastructure system was viable in the 1960s to 1980s the waterway transport system between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania was at its best. The system also allowed our countries to move commercial goods from Mombasa port, Dar es Salaam port, and from our cities across the region to other countries in the region that are landlocked.
Today we need that waterway system more than ever before and for Kenya, Kisumu port is the key that unlocks that whole system. The Uhuru government has pulled all that back together and there is a lot of work still to be done but it is going on as we speak.
I cite those few examples to remind Kenyans that President Uhuru Kenyatta has put our country on a good road to move where Kenya must go but it is still going to be a long journey and a lot of hard work to get there.
Can we get there? No doubt about that, yes we can and we are going to get there if we keep working at it and stop the thieves from ripping the country off. We know who the thieves are and we just have to keep them out of the way so the country can keep moving on. And we need the whole country to move together.
What the Uhuru government is doing in Kenya is not for any community but for the whole country. All Kenyan communities have specific issues and those too have to be addressed and solutions found. In Kenya, we must adopt the principle that what is good for my neighbor is also good for me.
If your neighbour has good food and good health, chances are you have the same. President Uhuru has been trying to do that for the last 9 years. Let the next government continue on the same path. Our abusive ways towards our neighbours have to be thrown through the window now and forever.
The other important thing happening in the political landscape next week is that both ODM and Jubilee will hold their NDC meetings in Nairobi on Friday, February 25, 2022, and the next day Saturday both parties will announce their joint presidential candidate and possibly hold a rally in Nairobi to tell Kenyans what they have in store for the country. The nation will listen and react the way they see fit. That is the right of every citizen in our republic.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada