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State gives Bomet County 10 acres for dumpsite

Tuesday March 6 2018

Bomet

Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso and Deputy President William Ruto at Isaik Primary School in Bomet County. Mr Ruto said land formerly owned by the prison department would be used a landfill. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ANITA CHEPKOECH
By ANITA CHEPKOECH
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The government has given Bomet County a 10-acre piece of land as a dumpsite in place of the one earmarked for the construction of a university, ending a row that began with the last devolved unit.

The location had been the centre of controversy when former Governor Isaac Ruto went to court to stop the relocation of the 10-acre dumpsite to create space for the institution.

“We have given you 10 acres for a dumpsite. It is formerly a prison land. You can take your waste there and leave the university alone,” Deputy President William Ruto said.

On Friday, Governor Joyce Labsoso decried the slow pace of the construction of the Moi University constituent college.

DISPUTE

“The buildings are coming up rather slowly and we ask you to intervene,” Dr Laboso told the deputy president.

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In response, Mr Ruto said he was taking charge of the developments.

“The government is building the University of Bomet. We have 500 students and 300 more will be coming in August,” he said.

The university and dumpsite land issues split local leaders in 2016.

While Dr Laboso then deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and other MPs were pushing for the campus to be built in Bomet town, Governor Ruto and his administration insisted that it be set up on a 40-acre piece in Sigor.

STADIUM

He went to court in seeking to stop construction of the university.

The county boss lost the petition at the High Court on June 8, 2016 but appealed on grounds that granting the disputed land to the institution would lead to demolition of a stadium.

He also said it would hamper garbage collection in Silibwet, Tenwek, Kapkwen and Bomet towns.

Moi University, however, made an application on November 11 seeking to strike the appeal out.

Through its lawyer, the university said the county government delayed in filing the case.

FOUNDATION

Dr Laboso, made a similar application on December 10, 2016.

She argued that the appeal was defective because it was served after 15 days instead of 14.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy accused the county boss of being a hurdle to development.

Talks to end the stalemate out of the court collapsed when Mr Kenyatta laid a foundation stone for the construction of the institution on the disputed land in Bomet town on December 13, a day after the Court of

Appeal issued an injunction restraining the university from proceeding with building.

COSTS

Mr Ruto later withdrew the case, citing lack of political will saying his successor would not pursue the matter.

His lawyer Tom Ojienda moved to court last month under a bill of costs claiming he was owed by the county more than Sh75 million for representing it in the case.