Kirinyaga County Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution demanding the release of the title deed to KEMRI-land for construction of an Ultra-Modern Teaching, Research and Referral Medical Centre.
At the same time, MCAs have demanded the County releases Sh.70 million they allocated for the bursary kitty before the end of this financial year.
Through Majority Leader, Kamau Murango, the MCAs claimed the 100-acre land wrangling should be resolved immediately to enable KEMRI proceed with the expansion project.
“We are giving governor Waiguru one week to hand over the title deed unconditionally or else we will set off a motion to impeach her,” Murango said.
Murango said it is no longer business as usual and added that though as a leader of the majority he is supposed to support the government agenda, he however clarified that the issue of KEMRI land must be resolved for the project to continue.
He said they were disappointed as the County Assembly to learn that the county government through their lawyer recently frustrated the efforts of a petitioner who filed a notice to withdraw a case that stopped the progress of the KEMRI project in Mwea.
“We cannot allow this anymore and the governor should better take this matter seriously; we are telling her to be careful otherwise before we are taken home by our constituents, she will go first,” Murango said.
He said the governor’s reason that she cannot release the title deed without an agreement with KEMRI was not reason enough to stall the project.
“We want that tittle deed right here at the Assembly so that we can give it to KEMRI as soon as possible,” Murango demanded.
The Mutithi ward MCA, Baptista Kanga in whose ward the centre is being put up, said the County government needed the use of force to make them hand over the title deed to KEMRI.
“This is a government which does not listen to its own people since everybody in Kirinyaga wants the project to take off,” Kanga said.
He said the county assembly requires applying some little force to make the county executive face the reality over the title deed and other issues facing the county residents.
Kanga said during his recent visit to Kirinyaga, President Uhuru Kenyatta had directed the governor to have the issue of KEMRI land resolved with immediate effect to save the project from further delays.
The County Government made some undisclosed demands for KEMRI before the institution could be issued with the tittle deed that led to the stalling of the project.
KEMRI had even spent Sh.60 million in erecting a perimeter wall on the 100-acre land after the then area Governor Joseph Ndathi showed its senior officials the extent of the land.
The ultra-modern teaching, research and referral medical centre was intended to serve Central, Eastern and North Eastern region residents with specialised treatment once the facility is in place.
The centre when operational will comprise a postgraduate University, Research centre, a modern hospital and state-of-the art diagnostic laboratory.
Records from KEMRI has it that the university wing will be admitting post-graduate students in various disciplines and will also have room for doctorate (PhD) students.
“I think we should be grateful to the government for such an important project which will not only serve Kirinyaga people but the entire northern Kenya region,” Kanga said.
Kanga said the hospital will be among the Vision 2030 flagship projects being undertaken by the Jubilee administration and added that the residents within the expansive catchment area have every reason to be happy.
“Our people have had to travel far and wide in search of specialised medical services while some die on the way before they get to Nairobi but this will now be behind us once the project is completed,” he said.
The ward representative also said the presence of KEMRI in the region and with a project of such magnitude would spur social economic growth for the good of the people.
“A University institution coming to an area turns around the scales of the economy and brings about positive social change and in this regard am urging the community around here to take full advantage and grow up together with this facility,” Kanga said.
“I am urging the community around this land to ensure we have enough skilled and non-skilled labour from this area so that we have everyone on board right from the start as the construction works take shape,” he said.
By Irungu Mwangi