Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati has shocked many by pledging to make Bungoma town a City.
Speaking on Sulwe FM on what many locals have termed a mere PR stunt, Mr. Wangamati said the recent census results that gave Bungoma a population of 1.6 million people is enough to make Bungoma the 5th City in Kenya.
“We have a growing population and by 2022, I will apply (to the relevant authorities) to make Bungoma a city,” said the first-time Governor who replaced Mr. Ken Kenneth Lusaka.
The recent census results had put the total population in Kenya as 47 million with Bungoma coming fifth as the most populated county in the whole country.
According to the Urban Areas and Cities Act, before classification as a city, urban areas must have infrastructural facilities like roads, street lighting, markets, fire stations, waste disposal and disaster management capacity.
Currently, Bungoma town has poorly-lit streets with muggers and thugs taking advantage of the darkness to rob boda boda operators and night guards.
@KenyaPower @KenyaPower_Care @GovWWangamati. this days Kenya power what is happening bungoma street lights are not working and Mama mboga is not able to to do business during night hours pic.twitter.com/LfzgyESYWj
— Jesse chenge (@ChengeJesse) September 20, 2018
A drive from Kanduyi past airstrip and the County Referral Hospital up to Huduma Centre may make you feel like you are driving in the midst of a deserted cemetery.
What is even more comical is that the Governor has always budgeted for the relevant departments but with no effects. Where do those funds go to?
Some roads within town are in embarrassing mess and streets terribly disorganised with boda boda operators parking deep in the road especially around Co-Operative Bank.
Governor Wycliffe Wangamati has shocking failed to even construct a social hall where youths can organise their theatre activities. Currently, the poor youths have to hire the Tourist Hotel which is understood to be owned by Governor Wangamati himself.
The hotel, according to some of the youthful event organisers who have staged theatre activities there, charges between Sh15,000 and Sh35,000 for the hall which is a big struggle for majority of the talented youths. Many have accused the Governor for refusing to construct a social hall in order to continue benefiting his hotel.
The town also has poor drainage and sanitation system opposite Co-Operative Bank with small-scale traders selling their food under unfortunate environment.
The act also requires that there should be integrated development plans and demonstrate capacity to generate sufficient revenue to sustain operations.
Other requirements include a demonstrable good system and records of prudent management and capacity to effectively and efficiently deliver essential services to residents.
The urban areas must also have populations of at least 500,000 residents as per the final gazetted results of the last population census.
There should also be institutionalised active participation by residents in the management of affairs.
Even after fulfilling the requirements, the President may on resolution of the Senate confer city status.
Currently, Kenya has three cities: Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu with Nakuru, Eldoret and Thika towns also waiting for the chance.
Such an ambitious Governor!