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MCAs call for policy on naming city roads

NATIONAL
By Josphat Thiong'o | June 17th 2021
Road named 'Francis Atwoli' signage goes up in flames in Lavington, Nairobi on Monday night (June 15, 2021) . Nairobi's Waithaka ward MCA Karanja Kiragu, faulted the naming of 'Dik Dik road' to Francis Atwoli road. He said the renaming was not done according to the law. [File, Standard]

 

Nairobi County Assembly has called for a policy to guide naming of roads and identification of individuals who have contributed towards greater good.

This comes after the Francis Atwoli road sign in Kileleshwa was vandalised following controversy over how the road changed names.

The request came through a notice of motion by Deputy Majority Whip and South B MCA Waithera Chege, who lamented that several icons and legends who served the country in various levels and contributed to the benefit of Nairobians had not been recognised.

“This assembly urges the county executive to develop a policy that provides criteria to be used in naming of roads and other county facilities in recognition of the extraordinary acts of service made by individuals in their works not only to the county but to the country at large,” stated the motion in part.

The Constitution provides for functions and powers of the county government on county transport including renaming of county roads, street lighting, public road transport, traffic and parking.

Ms Waithera argued that the policy will ensure only deserving individuals are honoured.

“We cannot be having streets, roads, hospitals renamed after people whose contribution to society especially to Nairobi residents was not of any help to them,” she said.

Last month, Deputy Governor Anne Kananu renamed Dik Dik road to Francis Atwoli road raising controversy that has seen the road sign pulled down and burnt on several occasions. However, the county has defied public anger to promptly erect the road sign after vandalism.

According to Nairobi County Assembly standing orders, renaming a road should be introduced as a motion before the House and if approved, it is effected.

This was the case with recent renaming of Accra road after Kenneth Matiba in March, Eastleigh First Avenue after Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji as well as Kapiti crescent road in South B after Joe Kadenge.

While renaming Dik Dik road, only a notice of motion was issued by Roysambu MCA Peter Warutere, but it was not debated.

The development also follows introduction of a Bill in Parliament seeking to regulate renaming of roads.

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