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Is Dr. Shem Ochuodho’s Nyanza Development Forum a Sham? Governors Reject It

Just why is a dinner organized by a group of Professionals from Luo land that calls itself Nyanza Development forum holding the event in Nairobi and not any of the four counties in Nyanza?

That is the question many from Luo Nyanza are asking online even as Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o and his Siaya counterpart Cornel Rasanga have disassociated themselves from an advert going around social media claiming that they will officiate a dinner organized by the forum.

Both governors, through their press teams, said they have not been invited to the forum that has organized a dinner set for August 31 in Nairobi.

“The organizers of the purported dinner are advised to be respectful to our institutions and the holders of such offices,” Nyong’o said in a statement.

Rasanga said the advert was misleading.

“The Governor will and is able to share his views on “the handshake” with the public at various open fora where no charges are levied on Wanaichi from time to time,” the statement stated.

ODM party leader Raila Odinga is alleged to be the chief guest.

The forum is led by Information and Communications technology expert Shem Ochuodho.

In 2013, just at the time it was formed, the group identified two priority projects in each of the counties in the area they wanted the Jubilee government to implement for development.

In Migori County, they said they will ask President Uhuru and his Deputy William Ruto to give priority to improvement of sugar farming to be more profitable. They also want the government to boost mining in the border county.

In Homa Bay, the professionals called on the government to revive the cotton sub-sector and expand rural electrification.

In Kisumu, Mr Ochuodho said, focus should be on revival of industries like the East African Breweries and the Kisumu Cotton Mills.

In Siaya, Mr Ochuodho said local professionals have identified food security as key for the area.

He said there’s need for investment in irrigation and for construction of dams in Siaya.

Mr Ochuodho added that Siaya has potential for electricity generation in its water falls, a thing that could boost rural electrification.

The politician said fishing which cuts across the four counties should be improved.

“We also want the fight against water hyancinth intensified and resources in Lake Victoria properly handled,” Mr Ochuodho said.

He said Nyanza professionals are planning to establish a micro-finance institution to empower locals economically.

Whether they managed to reach UhuRuto with these proposals six years later remains an enigma.

The groups was formed to change the mindset of locals from concentrating on politics to entrepreneurship.

“We want them to stop focusing on presidency but engage in development activities. We are not saying that a Luo should not be President but we should first improve our economic livelihood. We require a lot of civic education to change locals’ mindset to focus on development. We want Nyanza people to take charge of their lives and government to just complement their efforts,” Mr Ochuodho said.

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    Written by James Mulanda

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