Nakuru has become the fourth city in Kenya after President Uhuru conferred the Municipality with the city status.

Uhuru awarded the Nakuru with the charter on Wednesday in a colourful ceremony elevating the municipality to the ranks of the other cities, namely Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

The event was attended by a host of national and local leaders, including the former Prime Minister and ODM leader Raila Odinga, Chairman of the Council of Governors Martin Wambora and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka.

Nakuru was awarded the charter according to the legislative process as outlined in the urban areas and cities Act of 2011.

The Head of State signed and handed over the Instruments of City Conferment to Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui at the rehabilitated Nyayo Gardens.

Uhuru challenged Nakuru City residents to take advantage of the opportunities that the new city status will present to improve for the betterment of their lives.

He also said with the new city status, Nakuru will attract businesses and investors, hence creating employment.

“The award of the charter means that Nakuru is the fourth city in the country and it becomes attractive for business as it attracts investors to put up factories, industries creating employment for the youth,” Uhuru said.

The president said Nakuru’s elevation was a fruit of devolution and collaboration between national and county governments in service delivery. 

Uhuru also urged Nakuru residents to maintain peace as the country approaches an election because Nakuru is the political epicentre of Kenya and whatever happens in Nakuru affects the entire country.

“Historically Nakuru is a melting pot where all communities live harmoniously. It is a known fact that whatever happens in Nakuru politically will affect the whole country. It is said when Nakuru burns, the whole country burns and if Nakuru is calm then the nation is also calm,” the president said.

"We are giving you a city knowing that the peace in Nakuru will be extended to all corners of this country," he added."

The president also warned politicians against pursuing selfish interests at the expense of peace and cohesion in the country.

Uhuru also said divisive politics will disrupt the country’s socio-economic transformation agenda.

“No one will come to put up factories or industries or visit as a tourist, a country experiencing chaos and violence and that’s why am telling you my fellow citizens not to interrupt the peace we are enjoying,” Uhuru said.

He appealed to the youth not to be hoodwinked by empty rhetoric and sloganeering into supporting the political ambitions of people known for advancing divisive politics.

“We should not take peace for granted. That’s why I am telling the Kenyan youth not to be hoodwinked with empty promises. It is easy to give promises but understand that peace is the foundation of development,” Uhuru advised.

Raila Odinga said Nakuru was Kenya’s agricultural epicentre and lauded Nakuru County under the leadership of Governor Lee Kinyanjui for expanding the city’s infrastructure.

On his part, Governor Kinyanjui thanked the Uhuru for initiating several infrastructure projects in Nakuru County saying the interventions will help boost business, tourism and related economic sectors.

While delivering his State of the Nation address, Uhuru said Nakuru has a reputation as East Africa’s cleanest town and the whole country looks forward to Nakuru growing.

“Nakuru City will join Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi as cities. With a reputation as East Africa’s cleanest town, all of Kenya looks forward to Nakuru City growing by leaps and bounds,” Uhuru said.