The wall the Government is building along the Kenya-Somalia border is not aimed at deterring movements of people but to enhance security, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto on a development tour of the North Eastern region on Thursday, said the government was committed to peace and stability in the country.
“There is nothing wrong with Kenya and Somalia establishing a common border entry point. This will help check on people who want to engage in activities which threaten peace in the two countries” President Kenyatta said.
He made the remarks during a leaders meeting and later while addressing a public baraza in Mandera stadium.
The President said there were no plans to divide Kenyans and the people of Somalia.
“We have no any plans at all to divide the people of Somalia and the people of Kenya. We just want to ensure our people engage in internationally accepted standards of businesses, nothing else,” he said.
The head of state thanked the people of Northern Kenya for working closely with security agents in containing terrorism among other criminal activities.
“It is because of this reason that I strongly commend leaders and residents for working with security agents in preaching peace,” he added.
He said it was through teamwork and unity among leaders that challenges facing the region could be solved.
“As leaders we should take a leading role in uniting our people besides preaching peace at all times. Development will be elusive if there is no peace,” he added.
The President said Jubilee was committed to ensuring improved infrastructural development of the region to ease movement of goods and services.
He said that in order to address the teacher shortage in the area, the government will construct a teacher training college that will start admitting students by August this year.
President Kenyatta said as a measure to contain the problem of perennial flooding in the region, the government will use Sh100 million to check on floods.
The head of state said another Sh2.8 billion will be used to improve sewerage system as well as provision of water for domestic and irrigation purposes.
He issued 9,000 title deeds to the residents of Mandera saying the government was committed to ensuring problems of land ownership across the country were solved.
The President also presented an award to the wife of Salim Abdi, a former primary school teacher who was shot and wounded by terrorists for standing with his fellow Christians during an attack in a bus in Mandera last year.
Mr. Abdi later died while undergoing treatment at a Nairobi hospital.
While commenting on the issue of IEBC, Deputy President William Ruto said the government would not allow officers to be forcefully removed from office against the Constitution.
“The moment we start to believe in the law of the jungle, we stop being a nation of that obeys the rule of law,” Ruto said.
He said the government was committed to transforming Northern Kenya noting that Sh26 billion has so far been allocated to Mandera County since devolved system of governance took effect.
The Deputy President said Jubilee has merged all its affiliate parties with the aim of uniting all Kenyans.
“We are determined to bring together all our affiliate parties with the aim of uniting all Kenyans,” Ruto said.
Other leaders from the region who spoke during the event told off the Opposition over its plans to forcefully remove IEBC commissioners from office saying they will not sit on the fence and watch that happen.
The leaders included Aden Duale (National Assembly Majority Leader), Cabinet Secretaries Adan Mohammed (Industrialization), Jacob Kaimenyi (Lands), Eugene Wamalwa (Water and Irrigation), Senator, Billow Kerrow (Mandera) among other MPs from the region.
Governors Ali Roba (Mandera) and Moses Lenolkulai (Samburu) were also present.
Duale and Governor Roba said the Muslim community would officially start campaigns against CORD over its continued crusade against IEBC commissioners.
Roba said: “We want to tell Raila Odinga and his team that Isaack Hassan is a Muslim and we will not allow what CORD is doing to undermine his position at the IEBC,”
Duale said what the Opposition was doing had nothing to do with the IEBC commissioners but was about the Muslim community.
“The war being waged by CORD is not about IEBC but the Muslim community,” he said.
President Kenyatta will on Friday tour Wajir County where he will launch several development projects including the commissioning of a Medical Training College and a hospital.
He will also review the program of the roll out of the Digital Literacy Program popularly known as the laptop project.