Githima residents protest over bad roads, vow not to pay county cess.

Residents in Githima village in Thika East Sub-County demonstrating over poor state of their roads on Wednesday. They said that that Kiambu County Government had ignored their plight despite collecting millions of shillings in cess collected from them. 

Transport was paralysed in Githima area of Gatuanyaga Ward Kiambu after hundreds of locals barricaded the road due to the deplorable state of their roads.

The residents chanted slogans against the Kiambu County Government and demanded immediate rehabilitation of the stretch from Komo area to Muguga along the Thika-Garissa Highway as well as the Githima-Makongeni road which is now impassible due to the current rains.

They had lit bonfires along the road, completely obstructing hundreds of trucks ferrying construction stones from the multiple quarries in the area for more than four hours.

Those who spoke to the press expressed their disappointment over what they described as empty assurances by the county government for several years. They said that the roads had been made worse by heavy rains that have been pounding the area vowing not to pay county cess as it served no purpose to them.

“We are counting millions in terms of losses occasioned by the wear and tear of our vehicles. It is now almost impossible to transport out products in certain sections of these roads. Our trucks and vehicles get stuck in the mud and we can no longer handle the ballooning maintenance cost of our vehicles,” said one truck driver.

David Njoroge, a resident of the area noted that more than 500 hundred lorries use the road daily to ferry stones, earning the County Government of Kiambu collects more than shillings 500,000 per day which was enough to make the road an all-weather road.

“In a day, over 500 lorries ferry the stones from these quarries and pay a lot of money. Why aren't these funds not being used to repair these roads? We shall not pay further dues until the roads are repaired, said Njoroge.

The residents accused the county government of arresting a quarry owner who attempted to repair the road, saying that he was not mandated to do so.

“Recently, Kiambu county officials arrested one of the quarry owners for attempting to repair a section of the road and charged him for repairing it without their consent,” said Njoroge.

The residents added that during the dry season, the road became very dusty with the situation worsening when it rains because sections of the road ended up being impassable. They accused the county government of laxity in addressing their plight, saying despite collecting millions of shillings from them in levies, the county had blatantly refused to repair the roads. 

“It is very clear that the county government does care about us. So far, two investors have been arrested for filling potholes in this area. If they (county government) have been unable to repair these roads, we have the capacity to do so. We should be allowed to do it without intimidation. We are fed up with this cycle of impunity,” said Anthony Ndachi.
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