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Governor confers Hola Town municipal status

Hola Town, the official Headquarters of Tana River County is now a municipality.
Tana River Governor Dhadho Gaddae Godhana said Monday evening that he had through gazette notice number 12064, conferred the town the status of a municipality as per the provisions of the Urban Areas and Cities Act.
“The law spells out clearly that a town which hosts the headquarters of a county government is eligible for the conferment of the status of a special municipality and in this case, Hola fits the bill,” he said.
He was speaking at the county government offices in Hola Town during the inauguration of the first Municipality Board, which will be chaired by educationist Enos Mwaruka.
Other members of the board, who were sworn into office, include politician Alfelt Abio-Gunda, Mr. Jonathan Mtava, Adan Kalif and Abdulhakim Shee.
At the same time, the governor defended his plan to relocate the county government offices from Hola in Chewani Ward to Dayate in Wayu Ward, saying the move was aimed at expanding the boundaries of Hola Town to accommodate more development initiatives.
“It is clear that the old planning of Hola Town can no longer serve the expanded needs of our population that has grown rapidly in the recent past,” he said.
“Planning for our major urban centre, Hola, needs to take another dimension where opportunities will fully be harnessed while challenges are addressed to enable us competitively position Tana River as the next frontier for social and economic dimensions,”he said
He said for this to be realised, there was need to have a robust municipality that would not only plan for infrastructural development and other agents of development, but also look at ways of creating job opportunities for the county’s growing youth population.
“This is one of the enormous responsibilities that require total commitment and professionalism because Hola will become the epicentre of development,” he said.
He said his administration had put up plans for major infrastructural development, including the upgrading of the Hola Airstrip so that flights to and from Hola Town can start, thus spurring economic growth.
Dr. Godhana said many cities in Kenya were finding it difficult to attract investments because of poor planning, noting, “I hold the unshakable belief that this initiative gives us the advantage to turn round the fortunes of our county.”
The governor said he would not engage his critics in petty debates, saying he was too busy attending to the needs of his people and to tackle problems that have continued to affect them for many years.
“My critics, some of them highly educated people, say that changing Hola into a municipality is not a priority, but I can assure you that the things that they perceive as priorities will be achieved easier with Hola as a Municipality. The municipality status is an enabler,” he said.
He called on all leaders and residents to rededicate their efforts, embrace team spirit and put all their differences aside with a view to uplifting the status of the county and enhancing its residents’ living standards.
On Jamhuri Day, the governor clashed with four lawmakers who criticised his planned relocation of the county government offices from its present location in Hola town to Dayate in Wayu Ward.
The legislators, Ali Wario (Bura), Ali Wario (Garsen), Senator Juma Wario and Women Representative Rehema Hassan, accused the governor of neither involving them in the plan nor the people through public participation.
Wario threatened to take the governor to court for allegedly flouting the constitution and the law that requires public participation in all development endeavours.
However, the governor said his critics had not understood his initiative, explaining that only the county government offices were being relocated and not the county headquarters as widely believed.
“Hola remains the official headquarters, but we are moving the county government offices to allow the town to expand and to accommodate more development projects,” he said.
By Emmanuel Masha

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