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Let's always strive for a more united Kenya

By Anyang’ Nyongó | June 6th 2021
Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang' Nyong'o speaks at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu County during the Madaraka Day Celebrations.[Courtesy]

Without the tremendous sacrifices that our nationalists made and the blood shed by freedom fighters, Kenya would perhaps have taken longer to become an independent nation.

On Madaraka Day we all needed to appreciate the sacrifices that our founding fathers and mothers made to make Kenya what it is today.

These gallant sons and daughters of our motherland sacrificed for a free, prosperous and united Kenya, providing all her citizens with a place to feel at home. There can therefore be no development which does not take into account the future of our people. A so-called development programme where persons involved are pre-occupied with immediate projects of self-gratification cannot take this nation anywhere.

As Kisumu County Governor and a leader in the Lake Region Economic Block, I appreciate the government’s long term vision of reviving and building infrastructure projects in this region. The projects will cater for a better future for our people in terms of improving the investment climate and supporting trade. But let it be noted that most of what has been done in this region over the last couple of months, though their seeds were no doubt planted earlier, have flowered and flourished since the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga in March 2018.

Kisumu has given Kenya some of the nation’s happiest moments in our history. I remember as a school boy, the lyrics that were sang in 1963 to propel Kanu to a resounding victory in an election which historians have always referred to as the Kenyatta Elections.

Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, in Luo traditional beaded caps and addressing huge impromptu rallies in 1964 as they drove to Bondo to open Jaramogi’s new home, gave us the signs of a new era.

Mzee Kenyatta and Jaramogi were ready to build a nation for the future generations of Kenya.

Subsequently, however, Kisumu saw sad moments that tarnished our nationhood and caused painful feelings of political exclusion among many Kenyan communities. Nonetheless, throughout all this period, Kisumu has never turned its back on Kenya. We were nationalists in 1963. We remain nationalists today. We embrace Kenya as one indivisible nation where all communities belong. 

- The writer is Kisumu County Governor 

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