Uhuru, Joho Reconcile in Famous Handshake

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho on Thursday shook hands and agreed to work together as the Head of State opened the Dongo Kundu bypass.

    Also in attendance was Deputy President William Ruto and Devolution PS Nelson Marwa, who for a long time clashed with the governor on various issues.

    The President commissioned the first phase of the bypass, constructed at a cost of Ksh11 billion, which will ease the perennial traffic congestion that hampered the movement of people and goods from Kenya’s oldest and second largest city.

    The 10-kilometre bypass runs from the Second Container Terminal of the Mombasa Port and joins the Mombasa - Nairobi Highway at Bonje near Mazeras.

    [caption caption="President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho"][/caption]

    [caption caption="President Uhuru Kenyatta, Hassan Joho and other leaders in Mombasa"][/caption]

    “This road we are commissioning today is a unique piece of infrastructure. It is designed with provisions to integrate seamlessly with the Port of Mombasa, the Moi International Airport, the Standard Gauge Railway, the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway, and the upcoming Mombasa Northern Bypass,” said the President at Bonje where the launch ceremony was held.

    He added that the completion of the project comes at a time when the capacity of the Mombasa Port has increased significantly and led to increased movement of goods through Kenya.

    The Dongo Kundu Bypass also referred to as the southern bypass was proposed 30 years ago to decongest the port city and also provide an alternative route, besides the Likoni Ferry, to link the south coast with the mainland.

    For residents of the coastal city, its environs and users of the Mombasa Port, hopes of the proposal for the ocean bypass being implemented looked like a mirage until President Kenyatta’s Administration came into office and embarked on the initiative to develop roads to boost the economy of the coast region.

    The bypass is designed to ease the huge traffic snarl-ups that have always affected movement of people and evacuation of goods from Mombasa, which is the international sea gateway to Kenya and neighbouring countries.

    Most of the neighbouring countries in the region which are land-locked depend on Mombasa Port and the Mombasa - Nairobi Highway to import goods.

    The Bypass will open up the South Coast and North Coast and will boost the economy of the port city as well as that of the entire nation and region.

    The opening of the first phase will be followed by the start of the constriction of the second and third phases, which will cost Ksh30 billion.