Nairobi to reclaim capital city status if new bill passed
Nairobi will reclaim its capital city title if a proposed bill to be tabled in Parliament sails through when the House reopens.
Currently, Nairobi is no longer a city but a city county and Kisumu is the only city in the country because it was given a charter during retired President Daniel Moi era.
The Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Act, 2014 is also seeking to have the borders defining urban areas removed.
Such functions will be given to a select committee. The bill further proposes an area with more than 1.5 million people be classified as metropolitan.
The new bill which is sponsored by Malindi MP Dan Kazungu also proposes an increase in number of municipalities. Only Nakuru and Eldoret qualify as municipalities due to their population threshold.
“Other areas have been locked out of international donor agencies such as the IMF and World Bank as well as strategic investors who are not keen to deal with committees with limited capacity to manage strategic projects like the Kenya Municipal Programme. This has resulted in missed opportunities for the country,” said Kazungu.
Mr Kazungu said urban areas in the country need to be classified into five in order to ensure efficiency in service delivery and tax collection.
He added that the Bill sought to come up with a broadbased, inclusive, comprehensive, viable and just classification criteria and encourage better management of urban areas.
“We should have a metropolitan area, a city, a town, a municipality and a market centre. Each of these will be defined by a certain set of factors,” he said.
According to the Bill, a metropolitan, the highest level of urban centre will be an integrated International investment and business hub.