Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia has revived a tussle between Nyandarua and Laikipia counties over the location of Nyahururu town.
Mr Kimemia has promised to revisit the issue even as some leaders from the region termed his attempt as an exercise in futility, arguing that legally Nyahururu has been in Laikipia since colonial times.
During the groundbreaking ceremony for an ultra-modern office block for the Nyandarua County Assembly, Mr Kimemia said Nyahururu was irregularly transferred to Laikipia.
“When other counties enjoyed huge infrastructure at their disposal inherited mainly from defunct local authorities, Nyandarua had none of these as our facilities were locked up in Nyahururu town — the former district headquarters that was irregularly transferred to Laikipia County. This issue is still outstanding,” he said.
However, those against the push to have the town go to Nyandarua argue that the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission had in 2012 confirmed that it was legally under Laikipia.
Former Nyandarua governor Daniel Waithaka made similar attempts by forming a task force that recommended a referendum on the ownership of the town.
Former Rurii Ward MCA and human rights activist Wahome Kamoche, who together with current Nyandarua county assembly Speaker Wahome Ndegwa were arrested and charged with agitating for the return of the town to Nyandarua said Mr Kimemia’s efforts would be in vain, adding that only a referendum could rectify the situation.
“Truth is that Nyahururu belongs to Laikipia. What happened is that Nyandarua people invested heavily in developing the town after it was made Nyandarua district headquarters,” said Mr Kamoche.
“The injustice here is that the Laikipia county government benefits with taxes and facilities developed by Nyandarua people. It’s unfortunate that to date, senior government officers under the national government still operate from Nyahururu,” he stated.
During the 2007 agitation, activists failed to have Nyahururu located under Nyandarua but managed to have Ol Kalou town recognised as the district headquarters and later a county headquarters.
The Nyandarua county speaker says having the DC relocate to Ol Kalou was a major achievement.
But key government ministries including the OCPD, director of criminal investigations and administration police commander, public works, and lands office and all other departments and ministries under the national government still operate from Nyahururu town.