Welcome to the County of Murang'a

 

 

Tea farm in Gatanga ConstituencyTea farm in Gatanga Constituency

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rich in history, its people and resources


Contents
Introduction

1.  Genesis

 

 

2.  Education


 

3.  Health

 

 

4.  Work

 

 

5.  Governance

 

 

6.  Visitors

 

 

7.  Towns & Cities

 

Geography

 

The County of Murang`a covers 0.4% of the total land mass in Kenya, over an area of 2,558.82 km2 in the central part of Kenya. It is bordered by the Counties of Nyeri to the north, Nyandarua to the west, Kiambu to the south, Machakos to the south east, Embu to the east, and Kirinyaga to the north east.

 

Population

 

Murang'a, by population, is ranked behind Homa Bay County, as the 14th most populous county of all the 47 Counties of Kenya. Having a total of 942,581 people living there, it is host to 2.4% of the total population in Kenya.  The county has a density of 3.7 people per household (2009 Census).

 

Representation

 

The people of Murang'a County directly elect 7 members to parliament to represent them in Gatanga Constituency, Kandara Constituency, Kangema Constituency, Kigumo Constituency, Kiharu Constituency, Maragua Constituency and Mathioya Constituency. There are 427,458 registered voters in the county. These represent 2.99% of the national total of registered voters (2010).

 

 

 

Genesis

 

The County name of Murang'a (pronounced moʊrʌŋʌ) has its origins from its main town of Murang'a; various accounts fail to agree on the origin of the name. One account says that the Kikuyu who lived in Kirinyaga and Meru areas would say, "twathii kurang'a" translated to 'we are going to visit', whenever they traveled to the areas now known as Murang'a. However, before Kenya's independence in 1963, this town was known as Fort Hall. 

 

History

 

The history of this county is closely connected with that of pre-independence Kenya, as well as one Mr Francis Hall.

The Kikuyu people consider Murang'a as their ancestral home or cradle; specifically at the place known as "Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga" in present Kiharu Constituency close to the town of Gaturi. They believe that they are all descended from Gikuyu and his wife Mumbi who lived here with their 9 daughters.

Murang'a is also generally considered as the birth-place of Kenya's independence struggle. The Mau Mau uprising is thought to have began here before spreading to other parts of Central Kenya and beyond.

In 1900 the colonial government set up an administrative outpost at Mbiri, now known as Kiharu, under the command of Lt Francis Hall. Hall was the first District Commissioner of what was then known as .......

 

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Education

 

In this Page:

 

2. Education

Primary Schools

Secondary Schools

Special Schools

Polytechnics

Colleges

Universities

Libraries

 

Introduction

 

About 93% of all children in Murang'a County between the school-going ages of 6-17 yrs have ever attended school. This is below the national average of 95.16%. Out of a total county population of 942,581, only 70% have basic (primary) education. (Opendata)

 

 

Figure 2.1: Primary Education Assessment  in Murang'a 2011

 

Primary Education Assessment 2011 for Murang'a County

Source: Uwezo

 

Murang'a has 739 primary schools. Of these, 2 are boys-only and 2 are girls-only schools. The two boys-only schools are Murang'a Elite Primary in Murang'a Town and St Martins Boys Primary in Mugoiri. Both offer boarding only. The 2 girls-only primary schools in the county are Bishop Perlo ........

 

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Health

 

In this Page:

 

3. Health

Health Facilities

Public Health & Sanitation

Traditional Medicine

  

Introduction

 

Murang'a County has a total of about 271 health facilities. These facilities range from District Hospitals (KEPH rating level 4) to Maternity/Nursing Homes, (KEPH rating level 1). Slightly over 2/5 of them are government-run.

The following is a more detailed breakdown of these facilities by ownership and level, etc:

 

Table 3.1: Health Facilities Ownership Summary in Murang'a County

 

Ownership
Total Facilities
%
Hospital
Health Centre
Dispensary
Maternity and Nursing Home
Medical Clinic
Other

Faith Based Organizations CHAK, Catholic, AIPCA

31

11%

2

1

25

 

3

 

Ministry of Health

112

41%

6

19

86

 

1

 

Other Public Institutions, Community Development Fund, NGOs

3

1%

 

 

2

1

 

 

Private institutions, specialists etc

125

46%

 

 

3

2

119

1

Total

271

100

8

20

116

3

123

1

Sources: Opendata

The well-known Marie Stopes health NGO, has a 12 bed nursing home facility at Mbiiri, in Kiharu Constituency. ..........

 

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Work

 

In this Page

 

4. Work

Agriculture

Manufacturing

Cooperative Societies

Business

Services

Natural Resources

 

Introduction

 

The County of Murang'a's poverty index of 30.7% places it at no. 8 in Kenya, behind the County of Lamu (2005/06-KIHBS), against Kenya's poverty index average rate of 46.6%. The County of Kajiado leads in this respect with a poverty index of 12.1% (Opendata).

 

Agriculture

 

Agriculture, livestock farming and related activities form the backbone of the economy of Murang'a. Most livelihoods (90%) are dominated by small-scale subsistence farming. With a county population density of 368.37 people per km2, a large part of its agricultural activity is practiced on small family-owned land, that continues to experience ever-growing population pressure and susbsequently sub-division of land, much like the rest of the country. The result has been land and environmental degradation that has been made worse by global warming, causing parts of the county to experience food shortages at various times. .......

 

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Governance

 

In this Page:

 

5. Government

Vision

County Executive

County Assembly

National Government

       County Finance
 
Introduction

 

The new limited devolution of power as laid out in the New Constitution, provides that executive authority in the county will be exercised by a county executive committee headed by an elected governor. An elected County Assembly headed by a Speaker will legislate on county matters and exercise limited oversight powers on the executive. The authority, roles and functions of both the County Executive and the County Assembly are discussed under the 47 Counties of 2010 link.

 

Vision

 

What is the vision of the people of the new County of Murang'a?

How do the people of this area want to be identified?

What do they want to be known for?

And where do they want to be in the next 10 years?

 

County Executive

 

The following are the members who have been appointed to serve in the County Executive Committee of Murang'a County:

 

Table 5.1 Members of the Murang'a County Executive

 

No
Member
Gender
Constituency
Department
Leadership: education, qualification, service,
1 Governor Mwangi Wa Iria
Male      
  D/Governor Augustine J Gakure Mwonyo Male
     
3 A N Other Male Kiharu Health  
      Gatanga    
        Education  
6   Female      
        Transport  
      Mathioya    
        Housing  
10   Male Kigumo    
11       Roads  
  A N Other        
       Kangema Environment  

 

County Assembly

 

The following are the elected and nominated persons who will serve in the Murang'a County Assembly:

 

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Elections & Politics

 

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6. Elections & Politics

Political Parties

Governor

Senator

Women Representative

Constituencies and MPs

        Wards

 

Introduction

 

The politics of Murang'a is currently dominated by The National Alliance, TNA. The place and manner of Political Parties under the Constitution of Kenya 2010, is discussed in more detail under the Politics & Elections link.

 

Governor

 

The office of governor will be one of the key political offices in the new county structures under the devolved system of government as envisaged in the new constitution. The following people ran for the office of Governor of Murang'a County at the March 2013 elections. 

 

Table 6.1 Results for Governor for Murang'a County 2013

 

Candidate
Gender
Party
Votes
% Votes
Leadership bio, education, public office held, birth place (constituency)
Julius Ndung'u Kaberere

Male

 APK

 31,572 7.5

 

 Gacuru wa Karenge

Male

Saba Saba Asili

 4,467  1.1

 

 Moses Ndung'u Mwangi

Male

 Mzalendo Saba Saba Party

 43,103  10.3

 

Mwangi wa Iria

Male

TNA

 335,280  80.0  

Samuel Mwangi Njuguna

Male

ODM

 4,626  1.1  

 

Senator

 

The following candidates ran for the office of Senator for Murang'a County.

 

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Visitors

 

In this Page:

 

6. Visitors

Attractions

Parks & Reserves

Hotels & Restaurants

People & Places

Art & Culture

 

 

 

 

 Introduction

 

"Land of steep hills" is how first-time visitors describe the County of Murang'a. However, in addition to its beautiful hills and farmlands, the county is home to many places of interest, and vast untapped tourism potential.

 

Attractions

 

Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga

 

Murang'a's Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga is arguably the most important of all the historical sites in the county. It is here that the Agikuyu, who form the largest language group in Murang'a County and the Country, believe their first parents settled. It has been gazetted as a national monument. The site attracts many visitors from the Agikuyu people keen to see and learn first-hand how their first parents - Gikuyu and his wife Mumbi, lived with their 10 daughters. It also attracts students, writers and enthusiasts of such disciplines as history and anthropology. A visit to the county is not complete without a stopover at the site.

 

Fort Hall Monument

 

Fort Hall Monument

Murang'a County and surrounding areas of Central Kenya was called Kenya District in colonial times in the late 19th century.The first colonial administrator of the area Francis C Hall is buried together with others, at the Fort Hall Monument in Murang'a Town. Francis Hall died of black water disease aged only 40. Murang'a Town was named Fort Hall in his honour. Click here>> for more views of the grave sites at the monument.

 

 

Francis C Hall grave site at the Fort Hall Monument

 

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Towns & Cities

[size (and relative), population(and relative), date of inception and why, current political and administrative significance, business, communication, transport, tourism numbers, GDP, foklore and nicknames, newspapers, etc]

In this Page:

 

7. Towns & Cities

  

 Murang'a Town

 

Murang'a is 70km north-east of Nairobi, and 30km north of Thika. 

Lt Francis C Hall, the colonial District Commissioner for the Kikuyu District region had come to Murang'a and setup an administrative center and fort at Mbiri in 1900. Upon his death, the area's name was changed to Fort Hall from Mbiri, in his honour. The town's name was changed a second time to Murang'a at independence. The town has grown from a population of 2,300 in 1963 to 35,000 to-date (2009 Census). 

Murang'a is the largest town in the county, and 14th most populous in Kenya, after Kericho. In the devolved system of ........

 

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References:

1. Origin of the name Murang'a. As narrated to the Author by Mzee Peter Gathungu Kinyanjui of Gatanga, Murang'a. September 2012.

2. OpenData.go.ke. Retrieved at various times 2011-2012.

3. Uwezo. http://www.uwezo.net. Retrieved/accessed at various times 2011.

4. County Results of 2011 Uwezo National Assessment. Retrieved December 1, 2011. 

5. Mau Mau memoirs: history, memory, and politics. google books.

6. Mugama Farmers Co-op website. Retrieved October 3, 2011.

7. Murata SACCO Membership and Clientele. Retrieved October 3, 2011.

8. County Poverty Rates. KIHBS. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 

9. Hansard - Kenya National Assembly Retrieved Oct 3, 2011.

10. Gikandi S, Mwangi E. The Columbia Guide to East African Literature in English Since 1945.

 

Further Reading

  1. Muriuki, Godfrey. 1974. A history of the Kikuyu 1500-1900. Nairobi, Oxford University Press.
  2. Wanjau, Gakaara wa, 1999. Warahuri wa Muhooere wa Gikuyu na Mumbi. Karatina: Gakaara Press Ltd.
  3. Beech, Mervyn W. H. 1913. “3. The Sacred Fig-Tree of the A-Kikuyu of East Africa“. Man.13: 4-6.
  4. Kenyatta, Jomo, 1938. Facing Mount Kenya. London: Secker and Warburg.
  5. Bildad Kaggia. (1975) Roots of Freedom 1921-1963: The Autobiography of Bildad Kaggia, Nairobi: East African Publishing House.
  6. Gikandi S, Mwangi E. The Columbia Guide to East African Literature in English Since 1945.

 

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