Kuria leaders are demanding the creation of their own county in order to address what they have termed marginalisation of the community since independence.
Led by former Senator Wilfred Machage, who is currently the Kenyan Ambassador to Nigeria, and Kuria East MP Marwa Maisori, 20 leaders, including MCAs and professionals, said devolution has not addressed marginalisation of the minority community as they are not equitably represented in Migori County.
Speaking at a press conference at Kiikalloh Grand Resort in Machakos on Wednesday, the leaders said the Kuria community has 308,000 members according to the recent population census while Lamu and Tharaka-Nithi have less population, with Lamu having 164,000 people.
“The creation of Kuria County had been considered in the Bomas draft only to be dropped in Naivasha. We had put the same proposal before the BBI team. Our proposal was heavily referenced but (later) dropped. There is only one sentence that made it to the report,” said Mr Maisori, who read a joint statement of the Kuria Leadership Caucus.
The leaders pointed out that Taita-Taveta, Marsabit, Lamu and Tharaka-Nithi enjoy county status yet they have a population almost equal to that of the Kuria community.
Mr Maisori welcomed the extension of the term of the BBI team, saying it is yet another opportunity for the Kuria people to be heard.
He said creation of Kuria County should be put as a referendum question and Kenyans allowed to decide.
Dr Machage thanked the President for listening to the cries of the minority and coming up with the BBI agenda but added that minority communities need to be equally represented as they are also taxpayers.
“The Kuria have been servants since independence. How many of us are in government? We are citizens like others. We are tired,” said Dr Machage.
He said that even though there were claims that creation of more units of representation would lead to the ballooning of the national wagebill, those opposing the move are already well represented.
Former Mayor Joseph Chacha said the Kuria comprise 30 per cent of the population of Migori County yet they could not produce a governor or a woman representative.
He said that out of the 10 executive committee members in the Migori County government, only two slots are held by members of the Kuria community.
“We don’t get equal distribution of resources in Migori County. A third of the resources in the county should go to the Kuria community,” he said.