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Counties

Nakuru's quest for city status moves to Senate

Lee Kinyanjui
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The plan to elevate Nakuru municipality to a city has received a major boost after members of the County Assembly unanimously adopted a report by an ad hoc committee.

The passing of the procedural Motion now means Governor Lee Kinyanjui will forward the report to President Uhuru Kenyatta who will then forward it to the Senate for debate.

Once it gets the Senate’s nod, it will be returned to the President for accent before it becomes law.

Mr Kenyatta has in the past assured Governor Kinyanjui that he will support the upgrade once the proposal passes through the legal procedures.

The endorsement of the report by the Nakuru County Assembly is a big win for Mr Kinyanjui who has been pushing for the elevation of the municipality.

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Some of the local MPs — David Gikaria (Nakuru East), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati) and Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika have, however, been critical of what they see as a rush, instead proposing a deferment for a period of 10 years.

Others opposed the city status include Nakuru Business Association, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Matatu Owners Association and Nakuru Informal Traders who have all warned of rising cost of the factors of production.

Speaker Joel Maina Kairu termed the passage of the Motion “a landmark and historic moment” for the assembly.

The ad hoc committee report tabled in the House said it was satisfied that the cosmopolitan municipality has met the minimum criteria for elevation as provided for in section 5 of the Urban Areas and cities Act 2011 and Amendment Act of 2019.

The criteria include a population of least 250,000, integrated urban development plan, capacity to generate sufficient revenue and deliver essential services.

Others are active public participation by residents in the management of its affairs, infrastructural facilities, waste disposal and records of prudent management.

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