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Kenya defends creation of districts

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – Government spokesman Alfred Mutua has defended the creation of more districts saying that it was meant to take essential services closer to the people.

He argued on Wednesday that the new districts would improve the lives of Kenyans as they do not need to travel long distances to seek service.

“Who suffers when the districts are far? It is actually women who are not able to leave their children at home to walk the long distances and spend two days waiting to see one DC (District Commissioner),” the government spokesman said.

Dr Mutua’s statement follows concerns that districts created by President Mwai Kibaki were too many.

“Why is it that whenever the leadership of this country travels across the country, people are asking for districts?” he posed.

President Kibaki has created more than 30 new districts this year alone, bringing the number of the country’s administrative units to a record 209.

The President has raised the number of districts and the cost of provincial administration – at a time when Treasury is cutting back on spending.

Mr Kibaki has created more than 130 new districts since he took office six years ago in a political about-turn from when he was the Opposition leader who criticised President Moi for creating far fewer districts.

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But Dr Mutua, who was speaking at a Federation of Kenya Women Lawyers forum, said that the President had been guided by population growth.

A large number of former officers of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya have been hired as District Officers and may be deployed to the new districts.


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