• Kinyanjui says upgrade will unlock town's economic potential, urges leaders to support.
• But legislators say county administration needs further consultation with stakeholders.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has hit out at leaders and residents criticising his plans for Nakuru town to be elevated to a city.
He said the opposition will not derail his quest.
Kinyanjui on Tuesday expressed displeasure that some leaders in the county who should be at the forefront lobbying for city status are instead fighting the plan.
He asked critics to tell residents which town they want upgraded. He spoke after presiding over the signing of contracts by three new chief officers.
“The city status milestone will unlock Nakuru’s economic potential and no leader should oppose the move just for the sake of it,” he said.
The governor was reacting to sentiments by a section of Nakuru leaders led by Senator Susan Kihika who want the process delayed by ten years, citing unpreparedness.
Nakuru MPs also want the town’s elevation delayed.
Presenting a memorandum on Monday during an ad hoc committee hearing on the issue, the legislators said the county administration needs further consultation with stakeholders.
The MPs said there are many issues to be addressed including economic viability and sanitation, waste disposal and health care.
However the governor said even established cities like Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu still grapple with similar challenges.
He asked Nakuru residents to remain focused, assess his 2017 manifesto come 2022 and steer away from the ongoing divisive politics in the country.
In September 2017, the Cabinet approved the elevation of two more towns besides Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu into cities under the Urban Areas and Cities Act.
Since Nakuru was earmarked for elevation, the county government has initiated major infrastructural projects.
An international airport is under contruction at Lanet and Afraha Stadium is being upgraded into an ultra-modern sports complex.
He disclosed that this government is negotiating for a Sh4.2 billion sanitation project.
"All cities including Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu have their own problems and we have a comprehensive plan to address issues facing us," he said.