Residents of Mioro village in Mathioya Constituency, Murang’a County, have vowed to block the building of the 540-kilometre Mau Mau Road that is set to start next month should the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) fail to follow the original plan which shows it passing through Mioro shopping centre.
The residents were speaking during a public participation meeting on Saturday.
They put KeNHA officials to task as they demanded an explanation as to why the original plan, in which the road was to pass through Mioro-Ruru-Kiamuturi, was changed to Mioro-Kairu-Kiamuturi.
They claimed the original design was altered by some people for unknown reasons.
Led by Mr Muchiri Njugu, the residents said they read mischief in the change of design and vowed to hold demonstrations and use legal means to block the building of the road should the government fail to revert to the original plan which includes the original path that was used by Mau Mau freedom fighters to connect with their colleagues in Kiambu, Murang’a and Nyeri counties.
“The President promised that the Mau Mau Road would be tarmacked but, upon reaching Mioro shopping centre, it has been diverted to follow Mioro-Kairo and Kiamuturi area which is a distance of one-and-a-half kilometres compared to Mioro-Ruru-Kiamuturi route which is eight kilometres long,” Mr Njugu said.
Another resident, Mr Dennis Gathaiya, said they will stop at nothing to ensure that the section of the road passing through their village is not diverted.
He stressed the need for KeNHA to also disclose the link roads that will be built in Mathioya Constituency.
“We are categorical that this section of the road must be included in the design and we want an assurance from the Ministry of Roads that the section, since it is the original Mau Mau Road design, will be tarmacked first before the road which had been designed by the Ministry. KeNHA must also reveal to us the number of link roads that our constituency will get because we understand that they have outlined those of other constituencies in Murang’a County,” Mr Gathaiya said.
MP CALMS LOCALS
Mathioya MP Peter Kimari calmed the locals, saving KeNHA officials from the anger of the residents after announcing that he had received official communication from the ministry that the design will be redrafted to ensure that the original plan is used.
“There should be no cause for alarm because we have agreed that the design will be redrafted to ensure that the original route is captured in the design. We have talked with the Ministry of Transport officials and they have promised to do away with the design and to come up with a new one capturing the Mioro-Ruru-Kiamuturi route which is the original Mau Mau road,” he told the agitated residents.
During the meeting, police officers with full combat gear had been deployed to ensure that peace prevailed owing to the mounting tension.
The road is among the President’s pet projects that he is expected to commission next month and is hoped to be of great economic value to Mt Kenya region where many residents are farmers. It will ease accessibility to the region.