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County offices row splits Rift Valley leaders

By | March 16th 2011

By Vincent Mabatuk and Edwin Cheserek

Baringo County

Leaders in Baringo continue to bicker over where the administrative headquarters of the county should be located.

On Tuesday, those fronting Kabarnet kept off a meeting held at the Baringo GTI Hall, alleging interference by some MPs. Youths from Kabarnet paralysed the GTI meeting by shouting down those in attendance, including Assistant Minister Asman Kamama and Nominated MP Musa Sirma.

The MPs were forced to bring the meeting to an end prematurely as the shouting persisted.

Previous meetings have been postponed due to endless disagreements.

According to Mr Kamama, there is enough land in the cosmopolitan Marigat town for expansion.

Ideal location

While leaders from Mogotio, East Pokot and Eldama Ravine have suggested Marigat as the most ideal location due to its centrality, those from Baringo Central and North Baringo want Kabarnet town because of its infrastructure.

Last week, after a charged meeting held at Kabarnet Municipal Hall, more than 30 councillors declared they would take the matter to court if their views were ignored.

They also called for the removal of Kabarnet DC Ochuong Obell from chairing the meetings, saying he had taken sides.

Meanwhile, a meeting to conduct feasibility studies on a site proposed for location of Elgeyo/Marakwet County offices aborted after one team snubbed the function.

Leaders from the county had agreed that a 20-member committee be set up to unlock the impasse over the location of the headquarters.

The meeting, however, took a different twist when the team from Marakwet District failed to turn up at Chebiemit-Korkitony, the site proposed to build the county assembly.

MPs Linah Kilimo, Boaz Kaino (Marakwet East and West), Jackson Kiptanui and Lucas Chepkitony (Keiyo South and North) had discussed the matter at the weekend and reached a consensus.

But the leaders from Marakwet said they boycotted the meeting because residents of Keiyo had attempted to lobby for Iten despite an earlier agreement.

Keiyo North MP Lucas Chepkitony said five members had been picked from the four constituencies to resolve the standoff.

"We expected the meeting will give us opportunity to solve the problem, but it appears it will persist," he said at a Press conference in Iten.

Kilimo and Kaino maintained the county headquarters be set up at Chebiemit trading centre.

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