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What Nakuru ‘city’ governor must do to make history

By Nashon Okowa | June 26th 2021
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui (center) flanked by his Deputy Dr Eric Korir (left), and other county leaders at Nyayo Gardens on June 4, 2021. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui deserves a pat on the back with the town on the brink of greatness. Nakuru will soon achieve city status. Now, history and time are on your side, since this has been long overdue.

Indeed, this letter would have come sooner but I was careful not have it crowded in celebrations after the Senate endorsement. I have a fundamental issue to address as you prepare to become a city.

Your Excellency, whether you grasp this opportunity or let it slip away is up to you. It is said the dominant lesson of history is that mankind is unteachable. You must learn from the mistakes of Mombasa and Kisumu cities when they were conferred the status. 

You have one year to serve Nakuru people, and hopefully you will get a second term. The first thing you must embark on is Nakuru City master planning. This has to be your legacy, the opportunity to live in history, whether you are re-elected or not.

Careless city planning or lack thereof was the choice of your predecessor cities. The leaders at that time chose to be blindly shackled in endless celebrations and then wedded to conformity. Their plan consciously or subconsciously was to have no plan.  

Years down the line, they are literally choking. City planning has to be your utmost single focus and no matter how heavy the odds, no matter how crooked the rules, you must surmount this task to lay a solid foundation for Nakuru City.

I implore you to go all the way. If it means hiring the best urban and city planners in Kenya, region or even continent, do it. Serious cities worldwide were planned with the best of their time, not nobodies. Pay for it. 

Your Excellency, the destiny of our nation is not slums. Nakuru is perfectly raised at this hour to offer guidance. Needless to remind you that you were once one of the fastest growing towns in this region and the closest to the capital city. You must march with ranks of honour.  

You should develop a solid foundation master plan for Nakuru City and walk away – if you so wish.

This task is not easily conquered, you must have the consolation that the harder it is, the more glorious the triumph. Over to you! 

 -The writer is chair of Association of Construction Managers of Kenya. 


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