- In the current state, residents said Kiambu East has been neglected on matters of effective service delivery, representation among other areas of concern.
- They said despite being the major contributors of Kiambu county revenue, the region has been getting a raw deal when it comes to infrastructural developments.
Residents of Thika, Juja, Ruiru, Gatundu North and South constituencies are now pushing for division of Kiambu into two counties for enhanced delivery of various government services.
Professionals from various sectors in the five constituencies want Kiambu split into Kiambu and Thika counties to enhance the dream of devolution of taking services closer to the people.
Led by former Transition Authority chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi, the businesspersons, lawyers, teachers, sportsmen, politicians among other players, insist that time is ripe for the region, which enjoys a population of over one million people, to enjoy self-governance.
In the current state, the residents said Kiambu East has been neglected on matters of effective service delivery, representation among other areas of concern.
They said despite being the major contributors of Kiambu county revenue, the region has been getting a raw deal when it comes to infrastructural developments. They added that most of its roads and hospital facilities are in dilapidated state.
Addressing journalists in Thika town, the stakeholders in the push said signatures collection drive has begun, an exercise that hopes to collect over 300,000 signatures before their petition is taken to the National Assembly and Senate.
“We have prepared a petition pursuant to Article 119 (1) of the constitution and section 3 of the petitions to Parliament (procedure) Act, to be presented to both houses of Parliament and to the National Dialogue Committee. Today we commence the collection of signatures from all across the county in support of this petition for the creation of Thika county,” read a statement from the stakeholders.
Wamwangi said the five constituencies have enjoyed rich cultural, historical and administrative ties right from when Thika district was first formed in 1933, to the time they all belonged to Gatundu constituency after independence and later former larger Juja constituency, and share both physical and human infrastructure.
He appealed to residents to support the petition by signing it through the many field volunteers across the county and through the online portal.
“Today we begin the process of petitioning for the splitting of Kiambu county and the creation of a separate Thika county, to include the constituencies of the former larger Thika district. These five constituencies have a combined population of 1,187,860 million people according to the 2019 population census. The population is more than double that of Tana River, Samburu, Isiolo, Tharaka Nithi, and Lamu counties and bigger than that of Mandera, Wajir and Kwale counties. Kiambu has a population of over 2.4 million people thus straining service delivery, sharing of opportunities, resource allocation and distribution and infrastructure development,” Wamwangi said.
“As we mark 13 years of our 2010 constitution, and 10 years of devolution, we join other leaders across the country in reflecting on the achievements gained and challenges of the constitution and calling for the amendments of the constitution. Because after 13 years of implementation, the time is right for constitutional amendments," Juma Hemedi Mwaniki, a stakeholder in the push said in a statement.
"We also want to join other Kenyans in other counties especially the populous counties such as Kiambu, in calling for the creation of additional counties. This is to enable Kenyans realise the promises of devolution, equity, inclusivity and realisation of social justice. In doing so, we will be committing to righting the wrongs, omissions and oversights that were made in the run up to the adoption of the 2010 constitution.”
Alfred Wanyoike of Thika District Business Association said Thika has been getting a raw deal despite giving out 60 per cent of all the revenue that Kiambu county collects.
“It is time we have equal representation and equity in distribution of resources. It cannot be that we give the most but less is given back to us in terms of development. Thika county will solve this anomaly and will further help us achieve the devolution dreams,” Wanyoike said.
According to the constitution, creating additional counties would require a popular vote in a referendum once Parliament successfully approves the Bill.
A proposed amendment shall be approved by a referendum if at least 20 per cent of the registered voters in each of at least half (24) of the counties vote in the referendum.