`Degazettment’ of Marimanti town by governor Njuki leaves it in a sorry state


The Ghost Marimanti town, (Inset) Muthomi Njuki Tharaka Nithi County Governor.
By Denis Mutua

Worth Noting:

  • “Marimanti being the main town in Tharaka has to date maintained a status of a mere market centre. When rains pour one cannot access shops owing to the swamps that are left behind. Also, the town relies on water from Marimanti Catholic parish while the county has continued to make air promises to provide clean piped water,’’ he said.
  • Notably this is the only town in the county without an open air market put up which has left traders suffering under the scorching sun trying to make ends meet.
  • As if that is not enough, Kaimba told this paper that Njuki’s administration blocked access to the market toilets and turned them to stores for market attendants to store their tools plunging the town into unhygienic state that risk health of inhabitants.

Traders and residents from Tharaka have attributed the deplorable state facing the region’s headquarters Marimanti town to `degazettment’ of the town status by Governor Muthomi Njuki and instead raised the status of other minor towns in other regions like Chuka.

Speaking to Mt. Kenya Times, Marimanti Market Chairperson Mr. Kibaara Kaimba said unlike other major towns in in other Sub-counties which enjoy better and serene facilities like proper drainage systems, Marimanti was abandoned in its market status and Njuki has been mum about it.

Kaimba noted that the Market has bushy earth streets that are never maintained, missing drainage systems that leaves rain water blocking shops entrances among other facilities like piped water that the county ought to be providing.

“Marimanti being the main town in Tharaka has to date maintained a status of a mere market centre. When rains pour one cannot access shops owing to the swamps that are left behind. Also, the town relies on water from Marimanti Catholic parish while the county has continued to make air promises to provide clean piped water,’’ he said.

Notably this is the only town in the county without an open air market put up which has left traders suffering under the scorching sun trying to make ends meet.

As if that is not enough, Kaimba told this paper that Njuki’s administration blocked access to the market toilets and turned them to stores for market attendants to store their tools plunging the town into unhygienic state that risk health of inhabitants.

Instead, Kaimba revealed that markets such as Kibugua in Chuka Sub County were promoted to towns at the expense of Marimanti town and currently enjoys services such as tarmacked streets, efficient street lighting among others.

Also despite the sorry state of the town, the Njuki led county government of Tharaka Nithi has continued to charge market levies and licence fees equal to other established towns like Chuka while services remain those of a market centre.

Thus to demand their rights, traders resolved to halt market levy payment and cess fees at cess points until all their demands are met, a thing that has been going off for months now denying Njuki’s administration revenue.

As the year gathers pace, the standoff seems to get tougher as traders with various businesses have announced that they will not accept any invoice from the county government to renew their operating licenses unless their demands are listened and addressed.

The move has been backed by Chairman Kaimba who said as the officials, they will rally behind the poor traders who are being extorted with no one to listen to them and threatened to break into the closed toilets if the county will not move with speed to do so.

“I urge our traders not to accept any invoice from the county government asking them to renew their working licenses until the whole issue is addressed. I also warn that in case the closed toilets are not opened, we will do it by ourselves so that our people use them while operating in the market,’’ Kaimba said.

He also ruled out possibilities of livestock traders moving to the newly built livestock market saying it is below standards they want and thus they are not able to use it as they had earlier complained about it but the county government went on to build it.

He said they will convene a meeting to chat the way forward in case the county fails to respond to their grievances, since it is their right to access better services as tax payers.

Revenue being the core source of finances to the devolved units, it remains a thing to wait if Njuki will respond to the grievances raised or he will give the issue a cold ear.

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