The Senate is this morning set to debate and rule whether Nakuru Municipality should be elevated into a City, making Nakuru the fourth City in Kenya and the first in the Rift Valley region.
The Senate Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations Committee last week recommended the house approve a request by the County Government of Nakuru to promote the Municipality to a City.
The committee chairman Moses Kajwang’ said the Municipality has an established population of 367,183, exceeding the required city population of 250,000 people.
Additionally, the committee found out that the Municipality has generated sufficient revenue in the past three financial years, demonstrating its capacity to sustain itself.
At the same time, the County Government of Nakuru and development partners have built fire stations and are in the process of building an airport and an international stadium.
If it passes, it will be handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta for approval, paving the way for the Municipality to become a City in line with the provisions of the Urban Areas and Cities Act- 2011.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui vouches that the City status means the Municipality will qualify for more benefits, grants, tourists and attracts more people and investment.
The report faces an obstacle as Senator Susan Kihika who has in the past opposed the push for city status, is expected to convince her colleagues in the Senate to reject the proposal.
In 2019, Senator Kihika led a section of local leaders from the region in opposing the move, saying Nakuru needed at least 10 years to prepare adequately before becoming a city.
The Governor says Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu cities have their challenges and that his administration was not seeking Nakuru as the perfect City without its fair share of challenges that he said would be addressed along the way.
“We want the Senate to stand for the course. And you Madam Susan as the Senator of Nakuru, I also ask you to stand with the interests of Nakuru and Nakuru people would want the City status to come soon,” the Governor stated.
Deputy President William Ruto backed the Governor’s bid to elevate Nakuru Municipality into a City by saying he was ready to support the development as it would take Nakuru County and Kenya forward.