Munyu Paralysed For 10 Hours As Residents Protest Over Impassible Roads, Blame Kiambu Governor, Thika MP.

Hundreds of residents of Gatuanyaga Ward in Thika East Sub-County yesterday held a demonstration against neglect of the Thika-Munyu Road.

Led by bodaboda operators, they paralysed transport to or from Githima, Komo and Munyu Trading Centres for more than 10 hours as they accused both the national and county governments of ignoring their plight. The residents lit bonfires in the middle of the road, dug deep trenches across the road as well as dropping huge boulders of stones and tree trunks to make it impossible for any vehicle to get in or out of the area.
While chanting “Kabogo Must Go! Alice Must Go! Cecilia Must Go!” the residents said they were tied of being cheated by these leaders who they accused of neglecting their plight for the last 4 years.
William Kabogo is Kiambu Governor, Alice Ng’ang’a is Thika Town MP as Cecilia Wamaitha Mwangi is the area MCA. Efforts of their representatives to try and calm the irate crowd were shouted down and forced to retreat as the residents were not ready to listen to any of their explanations.

“We do not want to see any of them here! For the last four years they have giving us fake promises that they will repair this roads. The governor came here the other day and cheated us that he will employ some technology they learnt in Israel to mix the soil with chemicals that would make it accessible throughout the year but that was just mere talk and no action. It was the last time we saw of them. The MP came here and repaired it using poor quality workmanship and soils, thereby rendering it worse that it was before. What else are they coming to tell us now?” posed an angry resident of Githima Trading Centre.

They claimed that so many accidents were being experienced in the area due to the bad condition of the road, the worst hit being people using bodaboda motorbikes. It was also alleged that the businesses were bearing the blunt of the poor roads due to the high cost of transport. Motor vehicle owners talked of losses in repairs that could not have been the case were it not for the conditions of the roads within the area.

They vowed that they would not allow any county government official to collect any cess from the lorries transporting building materials as the county government did not justify their revenue collection with service delivery.

“We will not allow the county government to collect any money here until we get this roads done. They collect around sh. 300,000 every day from these lorries. The quarry owners too pay for business licences of around sh. 100,000 annually yet they cannot use part of that collection to repair this road. We are tired of these people exploiting our resources without giving anything back as a sign of appreciation,” said another protestor.

They said that even after failing to repair the roads, the county government officers restrained any person who attempted to repair the road claiming that that was their (county government) work.

“The county government askaris never allow the quarry owners to repair the roads. Any grader found doing so is usually impounded and the owner imposed with hefty fines that have discouraged them from coming to our rescue,” said another resident who works in one of the quarries.

The Kiambu governor was also accused of cheating the residents of Munyu that his government would upgrade their playing ground at a tune of sh. 1,000,000 but instead poured about 30 lorries of soil that were unevenly flattened.

“Now that field is no longer useful to our youth as they cannot play on it. Is that the carpet he promised us. If they are tired of Gatuanyaga people, we pledge to be relocated to Machakos County where we are sure that we will get services from Governor (Alfred) Mutua,” said one youth.

Representatives of both the area MP and the County Government of Kiambu passed blame on each other with each side claiming that the road was under the other’s jurisdiction. A county government worker who was present said that this road fell under the national government through KURA/KeRRA and that is why about 5 months ago the area MP and some national government officials launched a sh.70 million upgrade programme on the road.

The MP’s representatives denied this saying that the road no longer fell under them as it had already been assumed by the devolved unit.

After the standoff that took the entire day, the Thika East DCC Christopher Wanjau, was able to calm the situation and ensued normalcy at around 3pm after a heated debate that saw leaders raise voices at each other.

Morris Mburu who is an aspirant of Thika Town Constituency seat in 2017 and an area resident bore the wrath of the situation as his exit from his house was blocked with boulders. He was forced to spend the entire day in the area as he helped talk over the issue with other leaders for a solution. 

When pressed to comment on   the issue, Mburu had this to say, “I must admit that the larger Munyu area has been neglected by the sitting leaders for quite a long time. We are demanding those concerned to act fast and repair these roads as this has been a big challenge to us and the business community in the area.

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