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Residents Decry Neglect By Local Leaders, Fraud Ask Uhuru To Intervene.

Residents of Kakuzi/Ithanga Ward of Gatanga Constituency have registered their utter disbelief in how the local leadership and the County Government of Murang’a has marginalised them in the provision of services and maintenance of their roads services which they claim is a stumbling block to their development.

Raising their grievances to the press on Saturday in Kaguku Trading Centre, they accused the area MP and the county government of completely neglecting the area after the last general elections.

Pastor Simon Irungu, who has been a resident of the area since 1964, claimed that the issue of poor road network, lack of water and electricity has been an election pledge ever since with no tangible effect felt by the residents of the area.

“Ever since I was a child, these politicians have been promising to improve on our living conditions by bringing these services here. The last time this road was repaired was during the tenure of Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth. It is now in a very deplorable state, forcing the cost of transport to sky-rocket,” said Irungu.

He added that the situation has worsened now that fare to Thika Town, a distance of less than 50Km, has risen to sh.200 up from sh.80. He singled out the area farmers who he said were the worst hit by the poor road network as all they could do was to watch their produce rot in the shamba or swallow the bitter pill of being taken advantage of by brokers who bought them at throw away prices.

“The villagers depend on farming as the main source of survival, but they are finding it difficult to transport their produce to Thika and other markets,” said Peter Munyao, an elder in the area, in support of Pastor Irungu’s sentiments.

“We are always hearing promises from our leaders that they are going to construct the road but to no avail. Recently, when Ruto (Deputy President) visited this region, we heard that the Ndithini-Kihiu Mwiri and Gakungu-Junction- Kahuruko roads will be tarmacked. But word has it that some of our local leaders are blocking this development for political reasons,” said Munyao.

The residents claimed that the state of the road was a big challenge especially to expectant women who at times delivered on their way to the hospital.

Regina Magiri expressed her disappointment in the state of the local health facility which she said lacked essential drugs, maternity facilities and at times relatives were required to bring food from home to feed in-patients. She added that the area residents had lost hope in both the constituency and county leadership for what she cited as discrimination in allocation of resources in the area.

“We are tired of empty promises. Our marriages are breaking up as we can no longer serve our husbands well due to fatigue from carrying water on our backs. For over 20 years now, politicians keep campaigning on the platform of the provision of piped water but nothing is forthcoming. Most homesteads still go for long distances in search of water,” said Magiri.

David Macharia, who spoke on behalf of the youth, said that they faced an uphill task to get national documents such as IDs and birth certificates. He accused the local administration of seeking bribes to issue the youth with ID cards. He said those who failed to part with money ranging between sh.1,000 and 2,000 were denied access to these vital documents.

He added that the situation was the same when it applied to bursaries where students from needy families never benefitted, leaving it to students from well-to-do homes. He claimed that officials mandated to fund youth groups in the area denied them financial assistance, instead allocating the same to ‘ghost’ beneficiaries or to their kins.

He sympathised with their elders who he said have never received the ‘Pesa ya Wazee’.

He appealed for President’s Uhuru’s intervention to save Ithanga residents from exploitation and abuse of their rights as enshrined in our constitution.

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