MP pushes for Meru to be split into two counties

Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi has renewed calls for the sprawling Meru County to be split into two, saying the move would help spur growth and ensure equitable distribution of resources.

He said other regions like Central Kenya had many counties and there was a need to create an additional county for the Meru community.

Mr Aburi said the creation of Nyambene County would help improve the community’s representation and steer development as the Ameru people are currently spread only in Tharaka Nithi and Meru counties.

“If you look at Central Kenya, the Kikuyu community has Kiambu, Nakuru, Laikipia, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Murang’a and Kirinyaga counties while we only have two. It is high time we had another county because we have a large population,” he said.

Mr Aburi was speaking during a tournament aimed at cementing peace between residents of Tharaka and Tigania East, who are constantly fighting over boundary disputes.

There have been growing calls for an additional county, with supporters saying Meru North has been sidelined in terms of development and representation in government.

Tigania West MP John Mutunga, his Igembe South counterpart John Paul Mwirigi and former Igembe North MP Maoka Maore have in the past supported the creation of an additional county.

Mr Mwirigi argued that Meru North is the most populous with a unique challenge of Miraa, and the creation of an autonomous Nyambene County will help solve it.

He said he was particularly unhappy because miraa exports had been declining since April, affecting the economy of Nyambene County, which relies mainly on khat for its livelihood.

Nyambene region has a population of about 860,000.

Mr Mwirigi also cited Nyambene sub-county hospital, which is the second largest in the county, but received only Sh8 million while other smaller hospitals received a larger share.

He said the creation of an autonomous county would help the hospital move to the sixth level.

Mr Mpuru, who is also a member of the National Ordinary People Empowerment Union (NOPEU) party, said the political outfit would field candidates in all seats in the election except the presidency where they would support President William Ruto.

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