Sunday, December 14, 2008



December 14 2008

The Government is set to upgrade Kisumu Airport to an international airport, President Kibaki announced on Sunday. The Head of State added that the Government would also build another airport and an airstrip in Kisii. This, he said, was part of efforts to open up Western Kenya as a tourism and business hub.

Players in the tourism sector have been gearing up for increased tourist traffic in the Western region following the election of Barack Obama as US president.
Very soon people will now be travelling to and from Kisumu and other destinations in Africa once the upgrade of the airport is complete,” he said.

President Kibaki who was speaking at Gusii Stadium in Kisii where he presided over a fundraising meeting to put up a seminary in the area. He said: “An airport expansion has already started and it would be launched officially very soon.” The President was accompanied by Internal Security Minister George Saitoti , Education Minister Sam Ongeri, Public Works’ Chris Obure, Nyanza PC Paul Olando and Cardinal John Njue of the Catholic church.

The President said the Government was committed to initiating development in different parts of the country and nobody should think that their area was being neglected. "We are working on a programme that will see all parts of the country benefit from development projects and some people should not start saying their areas have been sidelined",” he said.

The Head of State said that apart from placing tarmack on various roads in the area, the Government planned to set up a dairy plant in the area . He also promised the faithful a fully fledged university.

On the controversial Communication Bill, Prof Saitoti said journalists and civil society officials who attempted to protest against the Bill during Friday’s Jamhuri day celebrations, were showing a sign of disrespect to the President.
He said: “The Government is ready to license any meeting where people want to express their views over a particular issue, but it will not condone unruly behaviour during state functions.” Cardinal Njue said that although he did not support the gagging of the media, he advocated for a responsible media industry.

Let us not gag the media, but put in place regulations that will see us have a responsible media sector,” he said.

He asked MPs to accept being taxed saying it was unfair for other Kenyans to pay tax while an MP enjoyed an exemption.

About Sh20.5 million were raised with a personal donation of Sh1 million from President Kibaki who also pledged an additional Sh2 million.