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Move to shift Kiambu County hq criticised

21 May 2013, 14:21 Kelvin Wanjohi

The move by Kiambu Governor William Kabogo to temporarily shift the Headquarters from Kiambu to Thika town has caused a major political divide.

The move has received stiff opposition from the locals and leaders, with the Kiambu County Senator and MP from across the County vowing to revert it at all cost.

Already, Kabogo has settled on Thika Municipal Council as his office where the council staffs were evacuated, but Kiambu County residents are not taking it lightly.

The leaders said such a decision should have been reached after consultation among the elected leaders and other stakeholders who include the voters.

They have vowed not to support Kabogo’s activities until he returns the offices to Kiambu, which is gazetted as the headquarters saying the decision will 'punish many people'.

MPs are seeking President Uhuru Kenyatta's intervention on the issue since he also comes from the region.

Political pundits say the move which has already caused a political divide may drag development in the County.

Already, Senator Kimani Wamatangi, 11 MPs and a section of County Representatives are not reading from the same script with the Governor on this issue.

During a hearing by Andrew Legale’s Interim Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission for Kiambu County, it was proposed and agreed that Kiambu town should be the headquarters of the County which has twelve constituencies.

Representatives from the then eight constituencies Kiambaa, Juja, Githunguri, Gatundu North, Gatundu South, Limuru, Kikuyu and Lari were present and they all agreed unanimously.

The major factor of the proposal was that Kiambu town bears the name of the County and is in a way at the center of the County and was convenient location since it is easily accessible.

It was proposed that the Governor would take over Kiambu Municipal Council offices and the council staffs be evacuated to Kiambu County Hall.

“Whether it is a temporary or permanent move, it ought to have been agreed upon by everybody. There is neither temporary nor permanent move since it inconveniences the people,” said Wamatangi who pledged to fight the move through the Senate.

He said be will table a bill in the house seeking to enact a law compelling the County governments to have the gazetted towns remain as the headquarters.

Kabogo’s allies led by Former Juja MP Stephen Ndichu and other leaders have issued rejoinders in his defence.

When the Transitional Authority visited the area for assessment, they said that the devolved government will take over Kiambu County Council offices which were to sever as the deputy Governor’s office as well as the County Assembly chamber.

However, Kabogo said he would not work from the facilities, saying they are not only inadequate to accommodate his staffs but also inappropriate.

He had also said the chamber would be hosted in Thika, saying the Kiambu County council does not have enough space to accommodate 90 elected and nominated County Representatives during debates.

After stiff opposition from the assembly members mainly from Kiambu West, Kabogo loosened his stance and the County chamber was renovated.

The Governor said he will stay in Thika for six months and some offices hosted in Limuru as they construct better offices but locals says it’s a trick since it’s not possible to construct new offices within the stipulated period.

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