What you need to know:
- Although Kathwana is the county headquarters, Chuka town is the devolved unit’s main commercial centre and hosts major institutions including Chuka University.
The streets of Chuka town in Tharaka Nithi County will soon be renamed, six years after several signs were vandalised, including ones bearing the names of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.
Early this year, the county assembly passed the Tharaka Nithi County Flag, Emblems and Names Act, that gives the devolved government the authority to name streets and other public facilities.
However, Governor Muthomi Njuki told the Nation on Friday that before naming the streets, a public participation exercise will be conducted for names to be proposed.
Majority Leader and Ganga MCA Peterson Mwirigi said the county assembly suggested that the streets be named after locals who have impacted their communities posivitely, and not necessarily politicians.
“We can name the streets after heroes and heroines including Mau Mau war veterans and Njuri Ncheke elders,” said Mr Mwirigi.
Although Kathwana is the county headquarters, Chuka town is the devolved unit’s main commercial centre and hosts major institutions including Chuka University.
In addition, all national government heads of departments, led by the county commissioner, are based in from Chuka town.
The Act stipulates how, when and where the county emblem, flag and seal can be used.
Previously, local politicians including Governor Njuki, who was then the Chuka/Igambang’ombe MP, and Senator Kithure Kindiki, were also honored with streets names.
Chuka University Vice-Chancellor Erastus Njoka and former Chuka town mayor Fatuma Murungi were also recognised.
The names of the then governor, Samuel Ragwa, and other key county leaders were omitted.
Disputing the naming, Mr Ragwa argued that he was not consulted yet town management is the responsibility of county governments.
Two days after the erection of the signs, unknown people used black paint to deface the ones bearing the names of Mr Njuki, Prof Kindiki and Prof Njoka.
The offices of the President and DP, through the county commissioner, said they were not consulted before the two leaders’ names were used.
The Kenya Urban Roads Authority’s regional office speedily pulled down the signs, saying they would only be erected after a consensus.