Bid for North Rift counties regional bloc runs into opposition
What you need to know:
- The Amaya Triangle Initiative, bringing together Laikipia, Baringo, Isiolo and Samburu counties was to deal with challenges like cattle rustling.
- North Rift governors are facing opposition from other elected leaders, who are accusing them of not involving residents in the group's formation.
- Governors argue that the regional bloc will give the counties strength and bigger voice while lobbying for resources at the national level.
Attempts by four counties to form a partnership in a bid to tackle insecurity in the North Rift have run into trouble.
The Amaya Triangle Initiative, bringing together Laikipia, Baringo, Isiolo and Samburu counties, was supposed to create a forum to deal with challenges facing them such as cattle rustling. But that may not happen soon after wrangles emerged over its aims and objectives.
The governors are facing stiff opposition from other elected leaders, who are accusing them of failing to involve residents in the formation of the group.
MPs and Members of County Assemblies in the four counties have vowed to oppose the initiative until they are fully involved.
Baringo North MP William Cheptumo on Tuesday said those pushing for the partnership should make sure that all elected leaders were involved.
“We support the initiative but we also pray that we be involved in such development issues as leaders from the four counties,” said Mr Cheptumo.
MCAs Jacob Edom (Sosian Ward in Laikipia County) and Kipruto Kimosop (Mochongoi Ward, Baringo) said the governors should start by involving the public and all elected leaders in the matter.
“We do not want to be used as rubber stamps. It is a mandatory that we ensure public participation before we sign the pact. Governors should know that we are not lesser leaders,” said Mr Edom.
While pushing for the regional bloc, the governors argue that it will give the counties strength and bigger voice while lobbying for resources at the national level. The group aims to modernise pastoralism by establishing feed lots, undertaking fodder preservation and developing water resources.
The four governors argue that, as a team, they can easily lobby for more funds from the national government and development partners to achieve their goals.
“Our counties are rich in resources especially livestock, which should be harnessed to spur development to benefit the people,” said Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.
His Baringo counterpart, Stanley Kiptis, on Tuesday disclosed that the governors would sign a memorandum of understanding on May 25 in Samburu County.
The four governors had met at Lake Bogoria Spa Resort in Baringo County to sign the pact but this did not happen after MCAs complained.
The initiative has also attracted the attention of groups such as the World Bank, DfiD, Commission for Revenue Allocation and a number of UN agencies.
A joint technical team has been tasked to identify areas of common interest in their County Integrated Development Plans and manifestos.