BY ELDORET LEO REPORTER
The residents have been eagerly waiting for the town famously referred to as ‘The City of Champions’ to be elevated to operate as Kenya’s fourth city after Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu.
Eldoret is referred to as ‘The City of Champions’ because the most elite and upcoming athletes from the North Rift region reside there. But it has now emerged that the Urban Areas and Cities Act of section 5, by grant and charter that allows municipality that meets criteria to be conferred city status is the reason why the town is yet to earn the city status.
According to the County Executive Committee member in charge of Lands Eng Nelson Maritim, Uasin Gishu County is eligible and qualifies for the adoption of the status but the law under the municipality act does not allow a direct upgrade from town to city status.
The town was granted the charter on the basis of the census report of 2009.
“We had put in place all requirements but only the issue of municipality laws locked us out, ” said Eng Maritim.
He went on, “We are working on the adoption of a municipality by formulating laws that govern municipality upon which Eldoret town will be elevated.”
Eng Maritim was speaking in his office during a meeting with the members of Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) that are in the County for the assessment program for Counties eligibility to participate in their programs.
On his part, the ACAL Project Coordinator John Karanja said: “We are doing an assessment on the level of compliance on matters of urban development”
KUSP offers grants to the National Government entities, County, and urban administration.
But the move to delay the town gain city status has not gone down well with a majority of the locals who have taken issue with the devolved unit on what they said as not being committal to have the town elevated to a city.
“We have an able county government in place that can easily come up with laws that will see the town become Kenya’s fourth city. They should not give us excuses but instead make us proud by ensuring that Eldoret becomes a city,” said Amon Cherotich, a resident of Annex.
Another resident Rose Kimani said, “During the campaigns last year we were promised that Eldoret will become a city but after the elections, things are changing. This is not what we want.”
Another resident Bernard Wafula said that time had come for Eldoret to be granted the city status as it is the economic hub of the North Rift region.
“Eldoret is a very big town just like Kisumu based on its growth and it’s a high time it was elevated to a city,” said Njoroge.
Last week, a proposal to create Eldoret Municipality and Eldoret Municipal Board was tabled in the Uasin Gishu County.
The proposal for the conferment of the municipal charter to Eldoret Town and to the formation of Eldoret Municipality Board is a proposal from the County Secretary.
“From the county government of Uasin Gishu to the clerk of Uasin Gishu County Assembly from the county secretary submission of the County Secretary resolution to the county assembly on the proposal for the conferment of the municipal charter to Eldoret Town and to formation of Eldoret Municipality Board,” said Speaker David Kiplagat.
Speaker Kiplagat directed the House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development to table a report on the same within two weeks.
“I am committing this on the committee of Physical Planning and Urban Development and we hope that within the next 14 days we should be able to table a report so that it can be adopted by the House for purposes of implementation,” added Mr. Kiplagat.