Waiguru hosts Bottom-Up Economic Forum
From left Kirinyaga County Assembly Majority leader and area Senatorial Candidate Kamau Murango , Governor Anne Waiguru and the UDA's Deputy Running mate Rigathi Gachagua during the Kirinyaga County Economic Forum held at the Kamiigua Youth Polytchinc in Kutus town yesterday
Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru has hosted the long awaited Bottom-Up Economic Forum
in which local residents identified their priority economic areas of focus that they would
like captured in Kenya Kwanza’a elections manifesto.
The forum that was presided over by UDA’s Deputy President nominee Rigathi Gachagua brought
together leaders and participants from various economic sectors in the county.
Those represented included rice, coffee, tea, tomato, macadamia and fish farmers as well as
market traders, hawkers, boda boda operators, hospitality industry players and horticultural
producers among others.
Farmers from various sectors said that they would like that national government to develop
policies that will streamline the agricultural sector to ensure that the farmer becomes the major
beneficiary of their produce.
The representatives complained that farmers do not get to reap from their toil due
to lack of direct market for their produce which has left them at the mercy of middlemen.
They also want the incoming government to subsidize fertilizers and pesticides in order to reduce
the cost of production of their crops and also put in place policies that will grant guaranteed
minimum returns for their produce.
The issue of allowing the importation of cheap farm produce such as rice and tomatoes was also
brought up as a factor stifling the local agriculture.
Farmers asked for policies that will protectthem against such unfair bilateral trade practices.
Mwea rice farmers lamented of high cost of the crop production and demanded for the abolishment
of irrigation water fee charged by Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) and which
they termed as exploitative.
They opposed the proposed increment of water charges to sh 15,000 p up from Sh 3000 per
“WARMA does not add any value to rice farmers and should be outlawed and the
management of irrigation water left to the National Irrigation Authority (NIA).” Said Ndung’u Ndegwa, a
rice famer from the Mwea Irrigation scheme said.
Gachagua assured the residents that Kenya Kwanza manifesto will be comprised of the views
collected from them noting that the Bottom up economic model was about the empowerment of
the bottom economic players to enable them contribute to the overall national economic
He said that all the views collected from the residents will be captured in a binding document to
ensure that they are implemented accordingly.
Gachagua further assured them that with him at the top, their
interests would be well taken care of and there was no chance of being shortchanged.
The official also promised that the cost of fertilizers will be brought down from the current Ksh. 6,000 toKsh. 2,000 by December 2022 if Deputy President William Ruto is elected the next president.
He also promised that the Kenya Kwanza government will resume the construction of all the
stalled roads in the county immediately it assumes office.
Gachagua thanked the residents for turning out in big numbers to participate in the forum adding
that the Bottom up economic model was centered on putting more money into the pockets of the
people at the bottom of the economy.
He said that Ruto’s government will set aside funds thatwill be loaned at 5% per annum interest to save people from borrowing from exploitative lenders.
On her part, Waiguru said her administration will continue supporting
farmers through the county’s Wezesha Kirinyaga economic empowerment program that has been
funding farmers groups to undertake various profitable agricultural activities.
Said the governor “ under the plan, farmers have been assisted to undertake poultry, tomato, avocado, dairy and macadamia farming as well as pig rearing, bee keeping and fish farming,”.
She said that her government will be partnering with the UDA government when it takes over
leadership in order to expand the Wezesha program to accommodate every household in the
Added Waiguru “ we promise to enable a 24-hours economy in the county by partnering with the
national government to construct modern markets and lighting up the urban areas and streets to
improve on the county’s security and enable traders extend their operations into the night”.
She also assured the Kenya Kwanza leadership that the County was solidly behind Ruto
Presidency and ready to vote in UDA candidates for all the elective posts.
Other leaders present in the forum included Kiharu and Starehe Members of Parliament Ndindi
Nyoro and Charles Kanyi (Jaguar) respectively, Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi,
UDA parliamentary and County Assembly candidates and Governor Waiguru’s running mate David Githanda