Leaders ask Igambang’ombe residents to reject vertical split of sub-county

Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Tharaka-Nithi County leaders have asked residents of the disputed Igambang’ombe sub-county to oppose a proposal to split the administrative unit vertically.

Speaking at a public participation event held at the Kathwana Stadium on Tuesday, Governor Muthomi Njuki, Chuka/Igambang’ombe MP Patrick Munene and his Maara counterpart Kareke Mbiuki said the planned changes are unacceptable as they would interfere with Chuka sub-county.

The leaders said the former Meru South sub-county was split into Igambang’ombe and Chuka and the latter should not be interfered with as it is not disputed.

A group had filed a petition in a court, which nullified the creation of Igambang’ombe sub-county, citing lack of public participation.

They propose that the old sub-county be divided vertically, from where it touches the Mt Kenya forest to the lower part, to have Chuka North and Chuka South sub-counties.

“The disputed Igambang’ombe sub-county is made up of Mariani and Igambang’ombe wards,” said Governor Njuki.

He said the views of the public will be sought at events planned by the Ministry of Interior starting on February 3 as directed by the court. The events will take place in Igambang’ombe sub-county and will not include Chuka sub-county.

Runs from the Mt Kenya forest

Those proposing the region to be split vertically, led by one Isaac Mugo, argue that the boundary between Chuka North and Chuka South should be the Ruguti river, which runs from the Mt Kenya forest downwards to Karura Kanthi, where it joins the Nithi and Thuci rivers before draining into the Mutonga river.

MPs Munene and Mbiuki faulted those claiming that the creation of Igambang’ombe sub-county disadvantages Chuka sub-county by reducing its size.

Mr Munene said with the two sub-counties that make up Chuka/Igambang’ombe constituency, the region receives more development projects from the national government as opposed to one.

“We should stop opposing the creation of more administrative units because national government resources are mainly shared through sub-counties,” he said.

Mr Mbiuki said the dispute on Igambang’ombe sub-county was likely to affect the creation of the proposed Muthambi and Chiakariga sub-counties in Maara and Tharaka constituencies respectively.

“We cannot ask the government to give us more sub-counties while we are disputing what we have been given already,” he said.

All Members of Tharaka Nithi County Assembly, led by Majority Leader Peter Mwirigi of Ganga ward and Gitonga Kithuka of Nkondi ward, rallied residents to come out in large numbers to the public events and offer their views.

Igambang’ombe Sub-County Commissioner Florence Obunga warned against any plans to disrupt the meetings and assured residents of security.

She said the forums will be supervised by the assistant chiefs of the respective sub-locations.

“On February 10, all the views will be presented and analysed and later presented in court,” Ms Obunga said.


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