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Residents Back Waiguru Move on KEMRI Land

Kirinyaga residents have applauded the decision by Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru to hand over the 100 acre land tittle deed to the Kenya Medical and Research Institute (KEMRI), ending the long tussle between the two institutions.
This has been disclosed by the area Jubilee Chairman Muriithi Kangara after a lengthy meeting between the county council of Elders and Governor Anne Waiguru.
After the daylong meeting at Waiguru’s Kutus town offices Kangara came out in the company of the elders to brief the media on the development.
But the elders led by their chairman Jeremiah Gateri however left immediately in order not to break the prescribed social distance by the ministry of health over the spread of the corona virus.
“I want to assure our people that Governor Anne Waiguru has finally forwarded the 100 acres land tittle to KEMRI so that the construction of a modern level five hospital, a Research Center and a herbal medicine manufacturing plant can start at the Wamumu site in Mwea West Sub-County, “the official said.
Kangara said also forwarded was an MOU dully signed by the governor as required though he did not disclose its contents nor was a copy of the forwarding letter was availed to the media for scrutiny.
He said a task force has already been formed between the ministry of health, County government of Kirinyaga and KEMRI which is planning on a ground breaking day at Wamumu.
‘There is no problem now as the governor has already cleared the air concerning the issues of KEMRI and we have also called the headquarters to confirm that everything is fine,’ he said
Kangara urged KEMRI to hasten the implementation of the project now that the tittle deed issues has been resolved, ‘the ball is now in your court “ he told KEMRI.
There has been a push and pull between various stake holders over the Sh 15 billion project whose construction should have started way back in 2015.
Among such stake holders were the area MCAs who have been pushing for the release of the tittle deed to KEMRI leading to a bitter disagreement and differences with the governor.
On her part the governor has been insisting that an MOU should be signed between KEMRI and her Administration over how and to what extent the local will benefit from the facility.
The governor was basing her argument on how the locals were shortchanged at the Thiba dam site yet it had been agreed 70 per cent of the jobs would be the preserve of the area residents which never came to be.
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho a month ago visited the stalled project at Wamumu and expressed his disappointments over the standoff between the governor and KEMRI.
A Sh 50 million perimeter was put up a few years ago but the actual construction of the facility did not start after the new county administration came into office in2017.
When complete, the facility will cater for patients from the large Mt Kenya region and to a large extent ease congestion at the Kenyatta National hospital.
After yesterday’s development area residents are now optimistic the construction works would commence immediately.
By Irungu Mwangi

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