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Explain criteria used to create new sub-locations

Opinion
 Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

The government owes Kenyans an explanation on what informed the creation of new administrative units in some parts of the country leaving out others. 

In a gazette notice dated February 14, 2024, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki created the new units in 31 counties leaving out 16. No explanation accompanied that CS’s move.

Lack of explanation from the ministry concerned or the government spokesman has left room for speculation that the new units were largely meant to reward politically correct zones or opposition rebel MPs.

To give credence as to why the move was purely political, an ODM MP who jumped ship to work with President Ruto’s UDA proudly said those were fruits of his decision to cooperate with the Kenya Kwanza administration.

Way back in 2022 shortly before the last general election, the then interior CS Fred Matiangi got a backlash from leaders in Uasin Gishu for creating a division in the area without their consent. The issue generated heat to a point where the leaders, led by then Governor, Jackson Mandago demanded revocation of the same until locals were fully consulted. 

Those against the move accused Matiangi of using it to endear the Uhuru administration to the electorates. The issue even led to Dr Matiang’i being sued for creating the units without first seeking public views on the same.

With the creation of numerous sub-counties, divisions, locations and sub-locations, the government is obviously creating several job opportunities in those regions.

Besides being a political plus to the politically correct politicians, such establishments go hand in hand with more budget allocations for setting up offices and hiring staff. The country is at the moment struggling to meet its financial obligations, including foreign debts. One then is left wondering what the priorities are. 

Assuming the move is geared at taking services closer to the public, then the government must explain how the entire Gusii region with 13 constituencies missed out completely. Both Kisii and Nyamira counties are among the country’s most populous regions and it beats logic how such a densely populated area can miss out.

The Interior Ministry owes the Kisii region an explanation as to why it ended up without any new administrative unit. There are claims that when Dr Mataingi was the CS Interior, he created a number of new locations and sub-locations which were only waiting for gazettement but non seem to have made it to the official declaration by the government.

President Ruto should address this anomaly bearing in mind that under his administration, nobody made it to his government as a Principal Secretary from Kisii. The first, to me, since independence. Areas that missed out are justified to feel shortchanged. The current statistics indicate that there are 8 regional commissioners, 47 County Commissioners, 289 Deputy County commissioners and 831 ACCs. 

In the lower levels the country has 3256 chiefs and 8145 Assistant chiefs who help the national government carry out duties. The creation of new units offers jobless Kenyans avenues to earn a living and when some parts are left out, those jobless Kenyans also miss employment opportunities. 

Mr Omanga is a media practitioner, [email protected]

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