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State House issues statement on resumption of Uhuru's Ukambani tour

Uhuru met a delegation led by Kalonzo at State House hours after cancelling the trip.

President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta held a consultative meeting with leaders from the Lower Eastern Region; comprising Kitui, Machakos, and Makueni.

According to a statement from State House, the delegation was led by former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Kitui County Governor Charity Ngilu, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, Machakos Senator Agnes Kavindu, Makueni Deputy Governor Adelina Mwau, Machakos Deputy Governor Eng. Francis Maliti and other leaders serving in both Houses of Parliament.

The meeting comes following the deferment of the initially planned presidential working tour of the region.

Whereas the President was keen to assess the impact of his administration’s transformative projects and programmes across the country, in this instance he will make a scaled down inspection of identified projects in the Lower Eastern Region in the company of all local leaders, on a date(s) to be notified.

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"The presidential engagement will be conducted in full fidelity with the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health," the statement read.

President Kenyatta acknowledged that a surge of infections had compelled a number of African countries to institute full lockdowns in a bid to stem the spread of Covid-19 within their borders.

"The meeting also observed that in light of new variants of Covid-19 which are deadlier and more communicable, a number of Kenya’s regional neighbours had introduced heightened containment measures," State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena wrote.

Postponment

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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.

"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.

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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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