Nakuru governor Lee Kinyanjui [photo: Hivisasa]
Nov, 13th 2020 – Nakuru governor Lee Kinyanjui has dismissed the report by the senate committee on labor to delay the quest for Nakuru to acquire the City status. Governor Kinyanjui says it was not true that the county was rounding up street children and dumping them in a forest in the county and leaving them without basic needs. The governor added that the senate committee report was politically instigated meant to fight him.
The report read, “The submissions from the affected street children reveal that at least 41 children were forcibly removed from the streets by county officials, held in detention and later on the night of February 6, 2019, dumped in Chemasusu Forest.”
According to Nairobi senator Johnson Sakaja who tabled the report, the aim for the act was to clean them from the streets as part of cleaning the town so that it can be granted city status. He said that the children were dumped in groups of six.
According to the Labour and Social Welfare Committee report, the incident left at least five children aged between 10 to 12 years still unaccounted for till today.
The panel has asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to conclude investigations on the incident and also also the alleged bribing of street children then give recommendations for the prosecution of the county officers involved.
However, the governor has said that there is an attempt by his political critics to divert attention from the key development agenda that the county has undertaken to a cheap slur campaign. He accused Nakuru senator Susan Kihika of allegedly using her colleagues in the senate to settle political scores.
Under the Urban areas and Cities Amendment Bill, Nakuru was among tens of urban centers marked to be elevated to city status. The governor asked, “What is the connection between the city status quest and the report? The Senate must rise beyond the narrow interests of specific members keen on using it as a shield.”
Charles Opiyo, Chairman of street Families in Nakuru County said that the Incident was not the first but has been going on for some time now. He recalls another incident in 2014 where some 360 children were affected.