Ruto Lands With Ksh 35B Goodies for Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa

Ruto's Speech
President William Ruto addresses the nation during Madaraka Day Celebrations in Embu Stadium on Thursday, June 1, 2023.

President William Ruto on Sunday, June 18, unveiled Ksh35 billion worth of goodies during a tour of Kakamega County - a region that has predominantly supported the Azimio la Umoja Coalition.  

Speaking during a service at Christ Church Cathedral, Kakamega County, the President made a total of ten promises vowing to work with all elected leaders across the county regardless of their political affiliation. He even implored the governor, Fernandes Barasa (ODM), to find ways of improving healthcare.

In a breakdown, Ruto promised to contribute Ksh1.2 billion for the completion and furnishing of the Kakamega County General Teaching and Referral Hospital by October 2023. He added that the county government would also contribute Ksh300 million for the project.

On the new National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) model, Ruto pledged equipment worth Ksh120 million for the 4,250 community helpers in the county. In total, the national government would spend Ksh3.5 billion to equip 100,000 health promoters.

Kakamega County Governor Fernandes Barasa speaking at a food security meeting held on April 26, 2023.
Kakamega County Governor Fernandes Barasa speaking at a food security meeting held on April 26, 2023.
Fernandes Barasa

Further, he promised to release Ksh130 million on an annual basis to pay the community helpers.

The president also promised that he will disburse Ksh31 billion for Kakamega County Government expenditure. He added that the funds would be drawn from collected revenues and urged the county government to live within its means to effectively utilise the funds.

Ruto added that Ksh50 million would be availed for Kakamega Airstrip's renovations in a bid to accommodate more planes on the runway.

"We have placed over Ksh4 billion into the Mumias Sugar company but the efforts were futile. This time we must get it right. I will petition Parliament to write off Ksh60 billion debt from the five sugar companies," he explained the sugar crisis.

In a bid to foster tourism in the county, he promised to contribute Ksh250 million for the construction of an industrial park. 

"In every county, we need value addition, agro-processing, and manufacturing for employment opportunities to be created. 

"Every county to come up with Ksh250 million and I will add Ksh250 million so that we can have county aggregation and industrial park in Kakamega County," he noted.

In addition, he pledged Ksh3 billion for the completion of several markets in the region to cater to the common mwananchi. These comprised Bukura, Harambee, Gakunga, Luvao in Shinyalu, Muhuru (Mumias West), Ikuu and Butere lower markets.

In conclusion, Ruto promised to create employment opportunities through the affordable housing project - noting that 10,000 houses would be constructed under phase 1 in Kakamega County. 

He added that this would require 50,000 workers such as electricians, architects, masons, carpenters and quantity surveyors.

Ruto noted that the MPs ought to pass the Finance Bill, 2023, without making amendments during the Third Reading slated for Tuesday, June 20.

Ruto ILO
President William Ruto during the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva on June 15, 2023, and COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli in the background.