Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has come out to defend President Uhuru Kenyatta against critics who feel that the development projects he recently unveiled in Nyanza are outright favouritism.

Raila said it is quite misleading and divisive of politicians to term the classify the Nyanza development projects unveiled by Uhuru as rewards for Odinga’s support during his second term, especially after the fallout in the Jubilee party.

A section of leaders from the Deputy President’s backyard, Rift Valley cried foul and protested the president’s development exclusion of their region.

Uhuru commissioning Kisumu Mamboleo Stadium. PHOTO/COURTESY

This came out during a strategy meeting attended by five governors and forty MPs from the region.

Raila reminded the president’s critics that the development projects unveiled by Uhuru will not only benefit the Nyanza region but the entire country.

“None of the projects launched or mentioned during the Madaraka period are owned by or meant to serve Kisumu county alone. They are meant to, and will serve the entire Kenya nation,” said Raila.

He gave an example of the railway line that he said would serve all people along its length.

Train on the Nairobi-Kisumu branch line. PHOTO/KENYA RAILWAYS

“It is not the only revamped rail line, either. Another revamped metre gauge line will run from Nakuru to Eldoret–both in the Rift Valley. This will be supplemented by a line running from Bungoma to Malaba, cutting across Bungoma and Busia counties,” Raila added.

Raila, through his spokesperson Denis Onyango, said that he finds such talk rather retrogressive, divisive, dishonest, and against the spirit of building one prosperous nation out of its diverse nationalities and regions.

The ODM leader also reminded the individuals opposing the president’s moves that the rehabilitated port of Kisumu had regional significance, and not only for the benefit of Kisumu or Nyanza.

The rehabilitated Kisumu Port. PHOTO/COURTESY

“The main beneficiary of this connectivity via the Port of Kisumu will not be Nyanza or any single county but the Republic of Kenya,” Raila added.