Senator Wambua revives bid to create Mwingi County as bipartisan talks resume
Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua has renewed his push to create a second devolved unit from Kitui County.
Appearing before the National Dialogue Committee at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday, October 2, Wambua said there was an urgent need to curve a new Mwingi County out of Kitui County.
He termed his proposal as an attempt to correct an injustice done to the people of Mwingi on account of a failure by the attorney general to gazette the area as a district in the 1990s.
According to the lawmaker, Mwingi missed out on the list of 47 districts elevated to counties in 2010 because its status had not been gazetted by the AG.
"The genesis of the creation of counties in this country under the 2010 Constitution was informed by a decision in Naivasha that the districts that had been created and gazetted around 1992 and 1993 would be given county status.
"At that time, there were 48 districts that were created up to and including 1992-1993. What the mistake was is that the districts that were created around the same time that Mwingi district was created from Kitui district including Tharaka Nithi from Meru and Makuenie from Machakos were given county status because they had been gazetted as districts. Unfortunately at creation, Mwingi district was not immediately gazetted and for that reason we missed out on county status," Wambua told the committee.
The senator is seeking, through the 10-member committee, to amend the constitution and ensure resources and services are brought closer to the people by splitting the expansive Kitui County into two.
"For the information of these members and for the record, the distance between the southern furthest end of Kitui which is Athi town to the furthest northern end of Kitui is 350 kilometres. The distance from Bomet to Nairobi traversing Narok, Nakuru Kiambu and Nairobi counties is 228 kilometres. So if you travel from Bomet to Nairobi you've only covered half of Kitui County," he said adding that Kitui County is densely populated.
Wambua, whose bid to divide Kitui County into two through a Bill has been unsuccessful in the past, also argued that his idea is unique from that of stakeholders seeking the creation of more counties.
Nine MPs last month petitioned the committee to increase the number of counties from 47 to 56.
The MPs told the committee that their proposal was motivated by a genuine desire to strengthen the foundations of devolution and bring services closer to the residents.
"We earnestly implore the National Dialogue talks to consider including this issue as a dedicated agenda item during the upcoming deliberations," the MPs said in a joint statement.
The dialogue committee resumed its sittings at the Bomas on Monday.
Nadco, which is co-chaired by Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka and National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah, started receiving submissions from the public on September 22 after various groups sent memoranda on proposals they wanted to be considered during the talks aimed at ending the standoff between the Kenya Kwanza administration and the opposition.