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Reason Uhuru cancelled Ukambani tour at the last minute

President Uhuru Kenyatta cancelled his planned tour in Ukambani a day before it was scheduled to commence.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu

President Kenyatta’s trip was supposed to start on Tuesday, July 6 and was set to visit Kitui, Machakos and Makueni for two days.

His tour included inspection of the Konza Technopolis in Machakos County before proceeding to inspect the Thwake dam project in Makueni County and later launching Kibwezi - Kitui road.

However, Governor Alfred Mutua told the media that the tour was pushed back a few weeks to monitor the Covid-19 situation in the region.

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"As leaders of the region, we understand the importance of keeping our society safe and ensuring the President leads from the front in complying with Covid health guidelines," he said.

President Kenyatta’s last development tour in Nyanza triggered backlash from many Kenyans due to the nature of his engagements.

His trip and subsequent Madaraka Day event attracted thousands of Kenyans, many whom neither had masks on nor observed social distancing measures.

Due to the high number of cases and deaths in the region, 13 counties from Nyanza and Western were then classified as disease infected zones.

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We welcome the President and I, in particular, appreciate the partnership Machakos has with the National Government in rolling our development projects for my people," he said.

The trip had been mooted after a meeting with governors and leaders from Ukambani on June 14.

The planned tour was to focus on development projects in the region but local leaders also expected a political undertone.

President Kenyatta has asked former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who hails from the region to reunite with ODM leader Raila Odinga for the upcoming General Election.

However, Kalonzo said in a past interview that he would rather retire than play second fiddle to Odinga.

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The Wiper leader shelved his presidential ambition in favour of the former Prime Minister two times in 2013 and 2017.

The Ukambani governors formed a regional economic bloc called the South-Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc (SEKEB).

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