Here is the speech by RAILA ODINGA in Kilifi today where he attacks UHURU/ RUTOEditor's Choice 09:50
It is good to be in Kilifi again. Thank you to the County Government of for the invitation.
When we began the push for devolution in the referendum of 2005 and the election campaign of 2007, it was our firm belief that each part of this country has something to develop itself and in so doing, make our country stronger and better.
We believed that there is no low potential part of Kenya as we were formerly told. We were opposed to the idea of people sitting back waiting for development to come from Nairobi.
We believed that people in places like Kilifi are capable of deciding their priorities. I want to thank you, the great people of Kilifi, for standing for devolution in 2005 referendum, 2007 elections and 2010 referendum.
You did it for your future and it is paying dividends. Each day under devolution has proved that we were right. This investment conference is one such proof that our people are determined to look into what they have locally and exploit it for their own development.
Kilifi County is one of the most natural resource-endowed areas in Kenya. The County is sitting on vast unexploited mineral deposits that include iron ore and titanium. The best building sand in the country is extracted at Mjanaheri here in Kilifi for the thriving construction sector in in Kenya.
Kilifi has large acreage of tropical forest at the Arabuko Sokoke that is also home to rare birds and animal species. The forest has given birth to a thriving butterfly export business that could earn billions of shillings for residents if properly exploited.
You are home to Malindi and Watamu marine parks that attract thousands of tourists every year. Your serene beaches pull thousands of guests to the North Coast tourist hub each year. You are home to historical sites like the Vasco da Gama Pillar, Gede Ruins, the ancient Arab settlement at Gede, Rabai Church built by early missionaries, Mnarani Ruins in Kilifi, Chonyi Hills in Kaloleni, Devil’s Kitchen in Marafa, Kaya Fungo in Kaloleni and Mekatilili wa Menza grave in Bungale. You are capable of diversifying your tourism beyond sun and sand.
Kilifi is the home of cashew nuts, sisal, coconut, pineapples and mangoes and it has huge potential for dairy and beef farming not to mention fishing.
With all these resources, Malindi, just like the rest of the Coast, should never be poor. Yet, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in the 2009 national population census, Kilifi, together with the counties of Lamu, Tana River and Kwale are the poorest in terms of general poverty, income disparity, access to education, sanitation, water, lighting and housing. Up to 68 per cent of the population here survives on just on one meal per day, according to the 2009 census.
That has to change. But the radical change this region needs will not come from Nairobi the seat of the National Government. The change Kilifi needs will have to begin from Kilifi. This investment forum is a step towards the change that you need. It is part of our vision of a life in which our people pursue their ambitions and dreams without constant reference to the big brother government in Nairobi.
The reason this region has remained behind is because Nairobi’s priorities are not necessarily your priorities. How Kilifi remained behind despite massive resources is clearly spelt out in the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation report. The poverty here is a direct product of government policies pursued by all the three regimes since independence. Unfortunately, those policies persist to date.
TJRC found that during the....
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