Kiambu residents have accused Presidnet Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto of unmet development promises.
The locals say they have been short-changed in terms of development, job opportunities, infrastructure development and trade.
Grace Njeri, a market trader, says the MPs are scrambling to have Deputy President William Ruto in their backyards through projects so that they can massage the locals for not feeling the government presence on the ground.
“Like here in Kiambu, what can we point and says this is what they have done for us, despite having the first and fourth president hailing from this area? We have worked hard to make sure we pay taxes and contribute to the country’s GDP but nothing is brought our way,” Njeri said.
Leaders say there is no major noticeable project, and even those that have been commissioned have not taken off.
But national government projects in Kiambu are yet to be acknowledged by locals, either because they are yet to be completed or the benefits of those that are complete are yet to be felt on the ground.
DP Ruto in February last year said the State had set aside Sh50 billion to fund mega water projects in the county. Top on the list of the projects was the Sh24 billion Karemenu Dam in Gatundu North, whose construction is expected to begin in 2018. The dam, which will take up 600 acres, is expected to be ready by December 2020. The dam is still under construction.
In December 2017, the government started paying farmers who would be displaced in the course of the construction of the dam, with Sh400 million set aside in the first phase of compensation.
The DP also announced the government was working on the Ruiru Two Dam in Githunguri, which would cost Sh17 billion. Two other dams are also to be built in Kinale in Lari constituency and Gatundu South.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria on the eve of the New Year accused the President of neglecting the Central Kenya, and taking development elsewhere, despite the region overwhelmingly voting for him in 2013 and 2017.
The Deputy President commissioned the construction of the Sh1.5 billion Gakukuyu-Mataara road in Gatundu North and announced that at least 400 kilometres of roads in the county would be tarmacked.
Ruto said the construction of the 26km Githunguri-Kagwe-Kimende road, which cuts across Githunguri and Lari constituencies, “was set to commence soon”.
He also announced that Sh800 million would be allocated for the rehabilitation of the 23km Kwamaiko-Marige-Gathiru-ini road in Githunguri.
“We will be back here in a few months with the President to launch other link roads estimated to be 50 kilometres. We will come to commission them because we already have the money to fund them,” he said .The construction is yet to start.
In September 2017, KeNHA announced that in the next four years, it would construct three major roads in the county totalling 124 kilometres. The roads include the 47-kilometre Ruiru-Githunguri-Uplands road at a cost of Sh4 billion and the 25-kilometre James Gichuru-Rironi road to be constructed at a cost of Sh16 billion. Also to be constructed is the 16-kilometre Western Bypass that will pass through Gitaru-Ndenderu-Wangige to Ruaka at a cost of Sh17 billion. The Western Bypass will join the Nairobi-Nakuru highway at Gitaru.
The construction of the Ruaka-Banana-Limuru-Thogoto-Gikambura-Mutarakwa road is going on. In 2016, then Transport principal secretary James Macharia launched the construction of 80 kilometres of roads worth Sh5 billion in Gatundu South and Thika town constituencies.
Last year, the government announced it had set aside Sh1.5 billion for construction of two bypasses in Thika. The President commissioned construction of the Thogoto Gikambura Mutarakwa road
The President had commissioned the new look Gatundu Level 4 Hospital, which was later upgraded to level 5. He also commissioned Gatundu Market and the construction of Theta Dam in Gatundu