Airstrip project splits Kericho leadership

Business in Kericho town was brought to a standstill on Monday after two Members of Kericho County Assembly (MCAs) groups took to the streets over the proposed reconstruction of the Kerenga airstrip.

The peaceful demonstrations have split the County leadership into two. This is the second time Kericho MCAs are disagreeing over the proposed airstrip upgrade.

Members of one of the rival groups led by Kapsoit ward representative Mr. Paul Chirchir (Tarimbo) were seen carrying placards and chanting ‘basics first’ in Kericho town while those in support of the Kerenga airstrip upgrade headed to the airstrip where they slashed the grass an indication of the start of the construction.

MCA Chirchir said the proposed project was not a priority while advocating for provision of water and construction of roads and schools.

One of those for the development ‘Team Airstrip’ Engineer Aaron Cheruiyot of Cheptororiet/Seretut ward said the project had been allocated sufficient funds and called on those against it to support the project.

Area governor Prof Paul Chepkwony intends to expand the airstrip’s 1.2km runaway to 3.7km but the move has been hampered following the MCAs move to reduce the budgetary allocations for this financial year for the project from S00 million to Sh25m against the proposed Kericho supplementary budget of Sh5.9 billion.

Last week, fracas broke out during a special sitting of all the 47 MCAs at the Kericho County Assembly chambers, where they were to debate the Kericho supplementary appropriation Bill 2017, after a section of the legislators claimed that the funds should have been diverted to other pressing affairs such as construction of roads and schools instead of the airstrip.

Source: Kenya News Agency