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Start with original road plan, say Mt Kenya leaders

NYERI: Mt Kenya East leaders yesterday said the earlier construction plan of a disputed dual carriageway should be prioritised.

They said the construction of Kenol-Makutano-Marua road should be done before extensions to other areas are made.

The senators, MPs and members of county assembly from Kirinyaga, Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Meru counties said they were aware road projects required huge financing, and the Government could not implement the entire road project at the same time.

Led by Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki, they lauded the Government's intention to extend the road to Murang'a while still retaining the original plan so that all regions are included.

"We urge the Government to prioritise and expedite the Kenol-Makutano-Marua route, which would stimulate the economy of the region. In the long run the Government intends to extend the route from Makutano to Isiolo, Marua and Nanyuki," said Kindiki, adding that the leaders' meeting at Embu explored development issues facing the region.

Kindiki asked the Government to embark on the project soon, saying they were happy a solution to an issue that would have divided the region had been found.

Those in the meeting included Kirinyaga Senator Daniel Karaba, MPs Muthomi Njuki (Igambang'ombe), John Muchiri (Manyatta), Charles Njagagua (Mbeere North), David Kareithi (Tigania East), Mburi Muiru (Tharaka) and Tharaka Nithi Woman Representative Beatrice Nkatha.

The leaders also reiterated their unwavering support for President Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and the Jubilee Government in their quest to fight corruption.

There has been disquiet among leaders from the region, especially Kirinyaga, after the Government signalled it would reroute the crucial dual carriageway to Murang'a.

On Friday, Senate Deputy Speaker Kembi Gitura warned leaders in Kirinyaga and Embu counties against playing dirty politics to "arm twist President Uhuru Kenyatta" over his stand on converting the Kenol-Murang'a road to a dual carriageway.

Two weeks ago, President Kenyatta while addressing Mt Kenya leaders during a meeting at Sagana State Lodge, accepted a request by Gitura to have the road pass through Murang'a.

Gitura said his push for Kenol-Murang'a-Sagana road to be a dual carriageway was not meant to disadvantage Kirinyaga but to help Murang'a town develop.

Speaking at Murang'a Teachers Training College when he presided over its 23rd graduation, he said leaders in the two counties should apologise to the Presidency over their unfair remarks "threatening to withdraw their support for Jubilee over the road". "It's wrong for leaders of any county to try to blackmail the President on his stand towards a particular project," said Gitura.

The leaders, he said, should seek solutions rather than play cheap politics aimed at misleading the public over development programmes.

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