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Ruto back to Coast after long break

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By MOHAMED AHMED
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Deputy President William Ruto returns to Coast after a long break of his frequent tours of the region.

His visit comes only three days after President Kenyatta toured the region, where he stayed for five days. The DP starts his five-day tour Thursday, and is set to launch a number of development projects.

Mr Ruto’s first stop is expected to be Tana River, where he will inspect a number of projects such as the KoraKora canal water and the coconut and nuts projects.

He will proceed to Kilifi, where he will commission the Baricho Water stabilisation supply and visit the National Irrigation Board project on cashew nuts and coconut, which will see farmers benefit from free seedlings.

On Saturday, the DP will head to Kwale for the launch of the Sh500 million dam project in Pemba. The dam was reconstructed after it was washed away by floods.

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On Sunday, he will be in Mombasa to launch the Sh300 million sewerage works funded by the African Development Bank in Changamwe. He will conclude criss-crossing the region on Monday by visiting Taita Taveta. On Wednesday, DP Ruto’s Communication Secretary David Mugonyi confirmed to Nation his boss’s planned tour.

During his tour, the President inspected the progress of a number of key development projects such as the first berth of the Lamu Port in Lamu and the Shimoni Port in Kwale. He met with Coast leaders and pledged to fast-track projects initiated by his government in all the six counties.

Among the projects the Head of State committed to fast-track is the completion of roads and ensuring that revenue derived from Tsavo National Park is shared between national government and the local community.

Dr Ruto last visited the region in June, when he led a fundraiser in aid of a project to translate the Bible into Giriama language in Kilifi town.

That was Dr Ruto’s ninth visit to the region since the March 9 handshake between President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga. During his frequent visits, the DP routinely sought the region’s support on matters development, staying away from politics. The visits saw him win the backing of several local MPs, who declared to support him in his 2022 presidency bid.

But the visits raised debate among his opponents, forcing him to address the issue. They said he had started early campaigns ahead of 2022. However, he said his frequent tours around the country had nothing to do with the 2022 politics. “Some leaders should stop being worried. We are here for development since the time for politics will come,” he said at Kakuyuni in Malindi.





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