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Why Justina Wamae disagrees with increase of counties

By Wangu Kanuri September 11th, 2023 2 min read

Former Roots Party presidential running mate Justina Wamae has explained why she is against the increase of counties saying that the move is counterproductive.

Speaking in a radio interview, Wamae shared that counties are just but avenues of nepotism and favoritism while service delivery remains neglected.

“Counties are saying that recurrent expenses are more than developments. Counties are many and do not have a revenue base to collect taxes meaning the residents in those counties are not many. Secondly, the leaders want to grow themselves on personal levels,” she said questioning whether increasing counties is a priority.

Last week, a proposal was made by 26 legislators to introduce 11 new counties to the current roster of 47. Presented to the National Dialogue Committee, their primary motivation was to address the economic, social, and political challenges faced by groups that have limited representation within the present county boundaries.

They suggested the formation of Kuria County out of Migori, Teso County from Busia, Mount Elgon County by merging parts of Bungoma and Transzoia, East Pokot from Baringo and West Pokot, Mwingi from Kitui, Gucha from Kisii, Suba from Homabay, Ijara from Garissa, Nakuru West from Nakuru, Wajir South from Wajir, and Nyambene from Embu.

The group of legislators advocating for the addition of counties include Marwa Kitayama from Kuria East, Mathias Nyamabe of Kuria West, Edward Oku representing Teso North, Mary Emaase from Teso South, and Fred Kapondi of Mt Elgon.

Others in this coalition are Robert Pukose of Endebedess, William Kassait from Tiaty, Peter Lochakapong representing Sigor, and three MPs from Mwingi: Gideon Mutemi, Paul Musyemi, and Charles Ngusya. Irene Muthoni stands for Kitui, while Alfa Ondieki represents Bomachage Chache, Sylvanus Osoro for Mugirango, and Innocent Obiri for Bobasi.

The group also counts on the support of Obadiah Barongo from Bomachoge Borabu, Caroli Omondi of Suba South, Abdi Ali Abdi from Ijara, and both Joseph Tonui and Alfred Mutai from Kuresoi South and North respectively. Rounding out this faction are Paul Chebir from Rongai, Samwel Arama, and Liza Chelule representing different parts of Nakuru, and Mohammed Adow of Wajir South.

This proposal seems to feed from MP Kitayama who last year drafted a bill seeking to create five new counties arguing that they would protect the rights of the marginalised communities.

The bill sought to create Kuria, Teso, Mount Elgon, East Pokot, and Mwingi Counties, which would raise the number to 52 from 47. The MP said that the bill would solve the perennial ethnic antagonism and divisive elections.

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