Mandera Governor Ali Roba has open up on the controversy surrounding failed airport construction projects in the county.
The governor has pointed an accusing finger at local businessmen whom he described as greedy and selfish. He also blamed clan based politics for turbulences he has faced since 2013.
“We have had an interest to build a standard airport in Mandera to serve and save locals from an impending emergency at the current airstrip we are using but some individuals have selfishly frustrated this,” he said.
According to the governor, some powerful individuals have incited locals against his ambition and exaggerated the size of the land needed for the project whose cost is a well-guarded secret.
Deputy Governor Mohamed Arai said he could remember the budgeted figure for the Karo airstrip.
“They are talking of a huge chunk of land when we only need a piece two kilometres wide and six kilometres long but nothing more,” Governor Roba claimed.
Mr Roba’s proposal to have the airstrip build at Karo in Mandera East was dragged to the High Court in Nairobi on Wednesday with a local community claiming it is a possible cause of clan clashes.
They claimed that the area was a water catchment zone used by their livestock.