BY KORIR JUMA/PSCU,NAIROBI,26TH JULY,2022-President Uhuru Kenyatta has lashed out at his deputy William Ruto accusing him of engaging in political doublespeak and spreading lies over the Naivasha Inland Container Deport (ICD)
While defending the construction of the Naivasha ICD, Kenyatta said unlike the information being spread by Ruto, the project would not in any way affect or interfere with operations at the port of Mombasa.
Instead, Kenyatta said the Naivasha ICD is developed to enhance ease of cargo haulage and handling in the country by reducing congestion at Mombasa Port, Nairobi ICD and on the roads
“A whole leader standing in public and saying look at these people, they have moved the railway and port to Naivasha. Surely, can I carry the ocean to Naivasha? Only God can do that,” said Kenyatta.
The Head of State said the government settled on Naivasha due to the ready availability of high voltage power and water, noting that Naivasha has over 1,000 kilowatts of power.
“We chose Naivasha because of the geothermal energy that grants us cheap power, available raw materials and strategic location transport-wise. Ignore the empty talk of critics,” he added.
The Head of State said by linking the port of Mombasa and the Naivasha Industrial Park through the SGR, over Ksh.59 billion (500 million USD) would be generated for the economy every year.
“The containers from here in Naivasha would be transported through the SGR to Mombasa. Is that not employment we are creating for Coastal residents? All the communities living here don’t they have a right to have their livelihoods uplifted?” posed Kenyatta.
“Let us avoid politics of deceit. As we speak, in Mombasa we are constructing the Dongo Kundu Bypass so that we can have Special Economic Zones. We are also setting up the same Special Economic Zone in Kisumu, Nairobi and Murang’a so that even residents in those areas can also benefit.”
President Kenyatta added: “Don’t be a person who tells us Kenya has no fool yet you are the same same person talking to us as if we are foolish people. Are we not educated?”
DP Ruto recently appeared to blame the government while on a campaign tour of the Coastal region, faulting the establishment of the Naivasha Inland Container Depot which critics allege will affect Mombasa port operations.
Later in an interview on KTN News, Ruto said that some people hijacked the project and moved certain port operations to Naivasha
He said, if elected President, he would revert the said operations back to Mombasa.
“What has happened is that other people took advantantage and moved port operations. Simple infrastructure things that have nothing to do with the construction of the railway. We are going to reverse port operations that have been brought to Nairobi to benefit a few people,” said Ruto.
He added: “We are not reversing the whole SGR plan. the original plan of SGR was not supposed to shut down the port of Mombasa... It was supposed to elevate activity in the port of Mombasa by making sure that the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone is operational by making sure the industrial city in Naivasha produces raw materials and products that would eventually go back to Mombasa and make the Mombasa port much more commercial and viable.”
Earlier the president officially opened the 1000-acre Naivasha Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Turkish Industrial Holding Complex in the zone.
The expansive complex, to be called Turkish Industry Zone (TIZ), will cover a 400-acre area and consist of 6 factories involved in the production of construction, forestry, furniture and cleaning products.
He also commissioned the Ksh.1 billion Naivasha Industrial Park Water Project in Suswa, Narok County as well as the 45,000 square meter Naivasha Inland Container Deport (Naivasha ICD) in Nakuru County.
Still in the region, Kenyatta commissioned the SGR-MGR Passenger Rail Link at the Kenya Railways Mai Mahiu Station in Naivasha, Nakuru County.
Meanwhile, President Kenyatta drummed up support for Azimio La Umoja coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga, asking Kenya vote for him in the upcoming elections.
Kenyatta described Odinga as a wise man and who loves unity hence deserves to succeed him as Head of State.
“Nawaomba kwa heshima kuna mzee mwingine anatembea..ata akiwa mzee… uzee siugonjwa. Hamtafuti mtu was kwenda marathon. Tuko na Kipchoge. Tunatafuta mtu na fikra, hekima, unyenyekevu na anapenda watu wake. Mtamuunga mkono?” posed Kenyatta as the residents cheered.