Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua will convene a meeting of key stakeholders to strategise on ending drugs and substance abuse at the Coast Region.
Speaking in Kilifi County when he attended the 8th Anniversary of the Malindi Diocese at ACK St Thomas and fundraiser, Mr. Gachagua said riding the region of drugs will improve the economic prospects of the people.
“We have a problem with drugs at the Coast. I am coming to the Coast before Christmas for a stakeholder’s conference. We will strategies together on ending the menace,” Mr. Gachagua said.
The stakeholders conference will comprise the people, political leaders, security agencies, the county governments, religious organisations, the county governments of Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River, Kwale and Taita Taveta.
The Deputy President has already convened similar meetings in Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi and Nakuru, which resulted in a declaration of war on illicit brew, drug and substance abuse in Central Kenya, Lower Eastern and Rift Valley respectively.
“We invite religious people to walk with us. Our children are being destroyed by unscrupulous people. We cannot allow that to continue, “ the DP added.
The Deputy President said the Ruto Administration is focusing on rebuilding the economy and for the region to benefit from the immense resources in tourism, Blue Economy, ports and other strategic investments, drugs must be eradicated.
He pointed out earmarked and ongoing projects in Kilifi County including Green Conservation, Kilifi Central and Ngomeni landing sites, among others.
“President William Ruto has given your son (Salim Mvurya, the Cabinet Secretary for Mining and Blue Economy) the responsibility of the blue economy. He is one of the best performers,” he said adding that the region has no reasons to remain behind in development.
Leaders present asked the Deputy President to assist cashew nuts and coconut farmers, as he has done with the coffee and tea sub-sectors.
“Come we sit down together and agree on the kind of reforms we want,” the Deputy President said.
The Government, the DP added, is committed to putting to rest the land question at the Coast. Money, he said, has been set aside to purchase land for resettling squatters and expressed optimism that by 2027, good ground could have been covered.
He defended President Ruto’s foreign travels saying the Head of State is looking for partnership to complement taxes for development.
“You will soon see the benefits of the travels of our President. We will account for every trip by showing the gains,” he said.
The Deputy President asked opposition leaders to be objective in criticizing the Kenya Kwanza Administration.
“The Opposition must be constructive. If you are criticizing the Government, let it be constructive. President Ruto and I are open to correction,” he said.
He also called out South African Opposition Politician Julius Malema for criticizing President William and his Administration, saying Kenyans can handle their issues internally. He asked foreign leaders visiting Kenya to enjoy the country and what it has to offer such as tourism, but not politics.
Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro thanked President Ruto and his Deputy for setting aside money for resettlement of squatters of Kilifi and the Coast Region in General. This matter was supported by the Kilifi North MP and the host of the event Owen Baya.
“I will continue working with the National Government as directed by the Constitution. It is for the benefit of my people,” Governor Mung’aro said.
Cabinet Secretary for Mining and Blue Economy Salim Mvurya asked the people of the Coast Region to fully support the Government as it works to turn around the economy.
He was accompanied by Owen Baya (Kilifi North MP), Lydia Haika, (Taita Taveta Woman Representative), Rahab Mukami, (Nyeri Woman Representative), Vincent Kawaya, (Mwala MP), Onesmus Ngogoyo (Kajiado North), Muthoni Marubu(Lamu Woman Representative), Joseph Githuku (Lamu Senator) Maryanne Kitany (Aldai MP), Mohamed Ali (Nyali MP) and Muthama Stanley (Lamu West MP).
Others are Anthony Kenga ( Rabai MP), Hillary Kosgei (MP Kipkelion West), Joseph Cherorot (Kipkelion East MP), John Kaguchia ( Mukurweini MP), Kamau Murango (Kirinyaga Senator), Danson Mungatana (Tana River Senator), among others.