Distributing t-shirts instead of development is shameful! Lamu women rep tells investors

Lamu East Member of Parliament Ruweida Mohamed./FILE

Lamu, KENYA: Lamu women representative Ruweida Obbo has asked investors to quit distributing T-shirts to locals and instead bring meaningful development.

Obbo said many investors shamelessly give out T-shirts to locals so as to buy their allegiance and support.

Speaking in Lamu on Friday, Obbo said it was unfortunate that many investors rush to give locals t-shirts instead of meeting local leaders when they want to start a project.

She said the move was equal to coercing which is not acceptable by law.

Obbo said any person interested in starting any sort of project in Lamu county should first of all seek the audience of the county leadership before speaking to residents.

“There is a reason we are leaders here and one is to speak for the voiceless. This habit of people coming from wherever with bags of T-shirts then distribute to people so they can support your project is more like neo-colonialism and must stop. Investors who want to come to Lamu must pass through the leadership here. We are our people’s voice whether you like it or not,” said Obbo.

She said there is need for all investors interested in Lamu to agree and be part of the development agenda in the county instead of only seeking to benefit themselves while locals remain poor.

Obbo wants every investor in Lamu to sign an MoU with the county government on how exactly they will go about their business while in Lamu and what the county stands to benefit.

The woman rep has also threatened to hold mass campaigns urging locals to shun all ‘selfish’ investors who only want to use Lamu for individual progress.

“Lamu needs a lot and many of these companies must atleast have some corporate social responsibility.They can choose to setup school,hospitals,roads and much more.Dont give T-shirts to our people.Thats the worst insult ever,”said Obbo.

Obbo also wants all investors to ensure they carry out public participation forums and seek the views of the people of Lamu on the projects intended.