The elevation of Nakuru Town to city status has entered the home stretch after the county assembly unanimously adopted a report by an ad-hoc committee.
The passing of the procedural motion now means Governor Lee Kinyanjui will forward the report to President Uhuru Kenyatta who will then forward it to Senate for debate and approval. Once the Senate approves the motion, it will be returned to the President for accent it into law.
President Kenyatta has in the past assured Governor Kinyanjui that he will support the elevation of Nakuru into city status once the legal procedures have been passed.
The endorsement of the report by the House is a big win to Governor Kinyanjui who has been pushing for the elevation of the municipality into a city status. Speaker Joel Maina Kairu termed the passing of the motion as a historic moment for the assembly.
Michael Njoroge Sonis (Molo) said slums will be upgraded while Kabazi MCA Peter Mbae urged the executive to conduct a thorough public participation to loop in traders who had opposed the town's elevation.
Leader of Majority Moses Ndungu Kamau said this is the greatest achievement by the assembly. He said sports facilities like Afraha Stadium will be upgraded. Biashara Ward MCA Peter Njoroge said World Bank projects have been initiated in his ward while Kiamaina Ward MCA Isaac Wahome Jambo Kenya said wards in the town will have infrastructure improved.
Kivumbini MCA Wilbur Onyango said more jobs will be created for the youth while his nominated MCA Doreen Korir said the elevation will attract investors.
Mr Joseph Mungai Kamanu said the city status will ensure roads are improved in his Maiella Ward. Nominated MCA Isabella Makori said the city status will attract investors.
Soin MCA Irene Chebichi said livestock farmers in her ward will double their production owing to ready market.
Dundori MCA Michael Machembu said the ripple effect of the city status will be felt in rural towns which will be upgraded.
Nominated Rose Karugi Njoroge said the city status will provide market for fresh produce from Dundori.
Menengai East MCA Wilson Mwangi castigated elected leaders who opposed the elevation of Nakuru municipality into city status accused them of being “greedy.”
The assembly endorsement comes as big relief to Governor Kinyanjui as some of the local politicians wanted the elevation deferred by 10 years.
Others who opposed the city status include Nakuru Business Association, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Matatu Owners Association and Nakuru Informal Traders.
In the report, the ad hoc committee said it was satisfied that the cosmopolitan municipality has met the minimum criteria for elevation to city status as provided for in section 5 of the Urban Areas and cities Act 2011 and Amendment Act of 2019.
Among the criteria that were identified to confirm Nakuru to city status include a population of least 250,000, integrated urban development plan, capacity to generate sufficient revenue and deliver essential services.
Other requirements were active public participation by residents in the management of its affairs, infrastructural facilities, waste disposal and records of prudent management.
The report was tabled in the House on Wednesday by the chairperson of the ad hoc committee Stephen Ng’ethe.
Among the benefits of the city status include growth in infrastructural development which include construction of an airport, fire station, new bus park, new matatu terminus and rehabilitation of county roads.
The report revealed that the city status will lead to economic growth through establishment of new business and increased revenue streams.
It will also translate into effective planning of transport, education and waste management, increased revenue collection.
The city will also access loans, donations and grants.