Eric Wainaina @EWainaina When Rumuruti Township was selected as the headquarters of Laikipia county in 2013 due to its central location, residents hoped they would soon get easy access to devolved services. Expectations were high that it would open the doors for unprecedented growth in the township, considered a gateway to Samburu county, a tourist destination. Being the headquarters, the town whose name is a corrupted version of \u2018remote route\u2019, was supposed to host the governor\u2019s office, the region\u2019s assembly and the County Commissioners offices, paving way for the area to flourish. But eight years since the advent of devolution, residents of the township with a surface area of 7,000 acres of land, are still waiting for their governor and ward representatives to move in. Laikipia County Assembly confirmed the town as the capital in 2014 through a motion, but the leadership is stuck in Nanyuki, which borders Meru and Nyeri counties, making visits by residents from populous Laikipia West, which hosts Nyahururu, Rumuruti and Sipili towns, a tall order due to the distance and rough terrain. Incomplete The Sh60 million governor\u2019s office located near Rumuruti GK Prison, which\u00a0 was initiated by former governor Joshua Irungu, is incomplete while the construction of the county assembly and the county commissioner\u2019s office is yet to start. \u201cWhen it was agreed Rumuruti would be the headquarters, investors flocked in. Some bought land while others developed hotels, commercial and rental houses. But the delay in the relocation has slowed the momentum,\u201d Joseph Lepakiyo, a businessman in the town said. Magnificent hotels such as El-Paraiso and The Route as well as commercial horticulture and flower farms have mushroomed in the town, which was elavated to a municipality last year. Area Senator, John Kinyua and immediate former Devolution Committee chairman said lack of finances and frustrations by the contractor has derailed the relocation plans. According to Kinyua, unlike other counties such as Nyandarua which were allocated funds by the Treasury to construct offices, Laikipia has had to make make budgetary provisions from its allocation to finance the construction. Though from far the offices appear ready, a perimeter wall, landscaping, wiring, furniture as well as general groundwork are pending and with only Sh9 million allocated this year, it may not be completed soon. The potential of the town, which late president Daniel Moi had an affinity for as he would occasionally sleep in the area\u2019s State lodge, is manifested by multi-million shilling investments ranging from commercial and residential houses and hotels. However, other than the signposts erected about 500 metres away from the town along Nyahururu-Rumuruti, Nanyuki-Rumuruti and the Maralal-Rumuruti roads indicating the town is the capital, everything else including the status of the road, does not belie its title. Only Rumuruti-Sipili-Kinamba road has been tarmacked. The Nyahururu-Rumuruti tarmac road is in a poor state and only last weekend unhappy residents planted bananas near Limunga where a section has been cut off and rendered impassible by ongoing rains. Dr Michael Mugo from Laikipia West claimed the county administration is unwilling to relocate to Rumuruti, which despite having a vast space, only a third of it is planned while the rest is used for farming or covered by bush. \u201cBy now we ought to have the county operations in the town, complete with water supply and a good road network,\u201d said Mugo, Mugo, the director of Foundation for Dialogue said the delay in the relocation had also disadvantage residents who have to travel close to 400 kilometres to seek government services. Distance Nanyuki to Rumuruti is approximately 81 kilometres, Nyahururu to Rumuruti (40 kilometres), Rumuruti to Sipili (36 kilometres) and with the capital being in Nanyuki, a voter from Sipili has to travel close to 400 kilometres via Nyahururu and Nyeri to seek services. Muriithi and MCAs occupy the offices that hosted the defunct Laikipia County Council and Nanyuki Municipal Council in Nanyuki Town. The distance issue has not just affected residents alone. According to Rumuruti Township MCA, Joseph arap Suge, Ward representatives, mostly from Laikipia West are forced to rent houses in Nanyuki town where the assembly seats because of the distance. \u201cSome of us have rented houses in Nanyuki at our own cost because it\u2019s impossible to attend sessions and return home on the same day,\u201d Suge, who is serving a second term said. Kinyua said he is pushing the national government to allocate special funds to complete construction works. Governor Muriithi, who is also battling claims of ignoring Laikipia West and north and focusing on Nanyuki which is always projected as \u201cThe Laikipia\u201d was not available for comment. However, last year he had promised that he would relocate to Rumuruti in January, but this did not happen.