December 16, 2007

On his re-election campaign, Keniya's Kibaki promises to set a permanent military base on Ethio- Keniya border

Kibaki’s promises to pastoralists

By Abiya Ocholla

President Kibaki has created eight administrative divisions and pledged to establish a permanent military base on the Kenya/Ethiopia border.

The President said this after he took his re-election campaigns to upper Eastern, on Saturday.

Kibaki also unveiled a seven-point development programme aimed at turning the semi-arid region into an economic hub.

"This region is well endowed and I pledge to harness the local resources and open up this hitherto forgotten region into an economically viable unit," Kibaki said.

The President said the projects aimed at uplifting upper Eastern and North Eastern Province will not only be linked to other parts of Kenya but also to Southern Sudan.

Kibaki created Shurr and Kalacha divisions in Chalbi District and Kargi and Ngurnit divisions in Laisamis District. He also created Omarr, Karare, and Segel and Dakha Barida divisions in Marsabit District.

He pledged to finance a livestock re-stocking programme for pastoralists in Turbi, Korr, Dukana, Forole and Gass areas.

"I know you people lost your livestock in raids by your neighbours, I promise to assist you restock your herd and ensure that life goes back to normal," he said.

Kibaki also established a permanent military base at Forole to guard the 600km common border between Kenya and Ethiopia and curb armed raids from suspected Oromo Liberation Front militia.

He also created two police posts at Moite and Koya.

"I have also directed the provincial police officer to re-arm homeguards in Turbi and Dukana before we scale up the programme to other regions," he said.

Suspected Ethiopian raiders massacred 100 people at Turbi in 2005.

Kibaki also directed the Eastern PC, Mr David Jakaiti, to liaise with Ethiopian authorities and secure the release of six Kenyans arrested in an Ethiopian rebel swoop.

Kibaki addressed rallies at Bubisa, Korr and Marsabit before going to Isiolo.

On the development formula, Kibaki said his government would prioritise infrastructural development, including establishment of irrigation schemes and expansion of the Rural Electrification Programme for Marsabit, Moyale, Garissa, Lamu, Mandera, Wajir and Lodwar.

"My government will complete the Elwak, Habasueni, Hola and Kithingitini electricity project. This will reduce the cost of electricity," he said.

Kibaki also pledged to construct a railway line linking Lamu through Garissa and Isiolo to Southern Sudan.

The Standard

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