Friday 8 June, Kitui West. By Mwendwa Joseph
Kitui West has lost a Police Division in a recent reclassification of police administration zones . The move has seen the Kabati Station (Ndolos Corner Police Station) lose both the OCPD and the OCS, as the two top officers have been transferred to Matinyani: a move seen as depriving the residents of Kitui West of the security benefits that come with close proximity to law enforcement institutions.
The Kabati Police Division head quarters, located at Ndolos Corner in the outskirts of Town Kabati, has been relocated to Matinyani town, in an ongoing move by the Interior Ministry to merge Police divisions countrywide.
The Kitui West Police Division has been merged with Kitui Central Police division, creating a single division; and the Kabati Police Station moved to Matinyani town, leaving behind only a handful of officers headed by an inspector.
Local leaders, opinion leaders, activists and residents of the vast Kitui West constituency have come out strongly to voice their displeasure and discomfort with such arrangements. They have accused the area political leadership of failing to safeguard gains achieved over the years in the area of security. Residents will now have to travel all the way to Matinyani to present their security concerns, something they would earlier have addressed within a few kilometers from their homes.
“If our MP was in touch with all stakeholders in this constituency, chances are that this would have been prevented. She would have known of such plans early enough and addressed the issue. It took great effort by us, who have been on the forefront of fostering prosperity in this region, to have the first police post in this area. We have watched Ndolos Corner grow from a little police post into a fully-fledged police station, and into a respectable police division over the years. We have also ensured that the division has had adequate resources to serve the local population. Any reversal of these gains is thus an injustice to our people,” Lamented Mr. Benedict Muasya, a resident and a vocal local opinion leader.
Several residents have accused Hon. Nyenze of undoing what her late husband had worked so hard and over years to achieve.
“I will not be surprised if Kitui West Constituency is also merged with Kitui Central in the coming days,” Grumbled Mr. Katana, a local council elder. “We seem to have elected a leader who either doesn’t know her roles to the society, or doesn’t care.”
“For decades, we fought to break free from Kitui Central and have our own institutions of power and adminstration here with us, now it looks like the next few years will be the undoing of all our achievements,” Said one local Administrator who didn’t want to be quoted to avoid conflict of interests.
The local Interior Affairs stakeholders and security councils have accused the MP of both ignorance and arrogance. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, various top stakeholders have expressed their disapointments at how Hon. Nyenze has continued to snub their attempts to reach her for consultations on such matters. They have expressed confidence that had the Mp being briefed of the merge move in good time, she could have possibly lobbied for the retention of the Kitui West Police Division and Kabati Police Station would not have been shifted to Matinyani.
This comes at a time when locals have also been accusing Hon Nyenze of snubbing invitations to their events and functions, something her husband, the late Hon. Francis Nyenze never used to do.
Hon. Edith Vethi Nyenze, a sister to the Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua Kiio, won the Kitui West by-elections with a landslide in March this year; following the unfortunate loss of her husband and the former Kitui West Mp, Hon. Francis Mwanzia Nyenze; although her critics came out to satirically lable the win as a mere ‘sympathy-vote affair’.