After years of intense lobbying, Tharaka Nithi County once again received attention from the National Government with the county benefiting with a name change for one of its Sub Counties.
In an effort to enhance coordination of the National Government, the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Fred Matiang’I renamed Meru South Sub County to Chuka Sub County, in gazette published on the 29th October 2021.
A section of leaders in the Sub County have supported the move, saying the people are now well represented as the name gives an identity to the Chuka sub tribe of the Meru people.
Some argue that indeed it was what the people wanted and hoped for, and that sharing a name with Meru County downplayed efforts by leaders to lobby for resources for the Sub County.
The name change according to political pundits will also play a key role in helping stamp the identity of the people as opposed to being referred to as Meru people.
Residents in the county have in equal measure embraced the change, by saying they for long lacked a bargaining tool as a Sub County in matters resources and positions of government. The move to them means that leaders can now outsource without the fear of identity.
Other stakeholders believe that the Sub County has lost a huge chunk to Meru as a result of the confusion caused by the name Meru South.
While in an exclusive interview with The Eastern Newspaper, Tharaka Nithi Law Society of Kenya Chairman Kirimi Muturi shed light into the matter, saying the process was not actually renaming of Meru South Sub County, but was giving a name to the part that remained after the creation of Igambang’ombe Sub County.
Mr Kirimi added that the new name has brought cohesiveness as the people are able to identify themselves with the name. He also noted that it also allowed National Government to deliver administrative services with ease.
“The government has done a good thing. The move has more advantages to the people of Chuka Sub County. It has created harmony and equality. In future we are likely to benefit even more. If constituencies are being created out of Sub Counties like Maara, what will stop us from having one in Chuka?” – Kirimi Muturi, Chair LSK, Tharaka Nithi.
The name change has always been center to politics in the county, with different groups and leaders differing over the issue in recent years.
Chuka Igambang’ombe MP Patrick Munene welcomed the decision to rename the county observing that the new name gives the chuka people an identity and clears confusion that was witnessed before especially during allocation of national government resources and opportunities. “We have had cases of goods destined to Meru South finding their way to Meru County as a result of confusion of names. This is a good move ans as a leader I support it”. Munene said.
On her part Tharaka Nithi County Women Representative Beatrice Nkatha said the new name was long over due and resident have been waiting for it.
“Our people in Chuka sub-county can now be distinguished from other communities in the region, a situation that will enable clear development plans in government books and other quarters,” Nkatha said.