President Uhuru Kenyatta made an impromptu visit to Kisumu City on Wednesday, January 12, specifically the Kisumu port where he inspected the ongoing construction of the MV Uhuru 2 ship at the dockyard.
He was in the company of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba and had dedicated the day to pay working visits to the Naivasha Inland Container Depot (ICD), Kisumu Shipyard and the new Mbita Bridge.
At the ICD, the President witnessed the trans-shipment of container cargo from the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to the Meter Gauge Railway (MGR) and took a train ride from Naivasha to Longonot.
President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi, hailed the partnership between Kenya Railways and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) for the successful execution of the SGR to MGR container cargo trans-shipment project.
From Longonot railway station, the Head of State flew to Kisumu Port aboard three Kenya Air Force military helicopters at around 2.30 pm where he toured the Kisumu Shipyard and inspected the ongoing construction of MV Uhuru II wagon ferry, dry dock and slipway, which is being built from scratch by the Kenya Navy alongside a Dutch company.
The ferry was commissioned by Uhuru and his Burundi counterpart Evariste Ndayishimiye in May 2021 when he inaugurated the Kenya Shipyards Limited.
He then stopped at Mbita to address residents who turned up in their numbers to see him.
Uhuru also called for peace and unity ahead of the general elections, with seven months to go.
“We want to continue fostering peace in this country. During this election period, we want Kenyans to maintain peace as is the foundation of the handshake. As we continue with the journey let us all be united as one,” he preached.
The Kisumu port has been undergoing upgrades since 2016 and once complete will create a one-of-a-kind transport system serving East and Central Africa.
The depot serves to bring port services closer to customers and reduce congestion at the Port of Mombasa as well as the Nairobi Inland Container Depot and on the roads.
The ICD is situated off the Kaplong- Narok- Maai Mahiu (B3) Road on the Kenya Pipeline access road. It lies 15 kilometres from Maai Mahiu town.
The 45,000 square metres facility has a capacity of handling two million tonnes per annum. It has been expanded from the initial capacity of 180,000 TEUs per annum to 450,000 TEUs per annum.