This is How Mwatate was Selected to be Taita Taveta County Headquarters

This article was pulled from the website of Taita Taveta Think Tank (follow the link to see who they are) and captures a process whose climax was on 11th March 2011 when a vote was taken to decide where between Voi and Mwatate would the County HQs be.


As we embarked on the mission to identify our county’s headquarters we targeted to get a proper headquarters for the benefit of all in the county. The people of Taita Taveta County settled on Mwatate as the Headquarters in a process that was democratic, peaceful and acceptable to all.

Deciding on a suitable location for Taita Taveta County Headquarters

Following steps helped to determine suitable headquarters for the county in an objective manner.

Step 1

Deciding the basis on which to choose a location:-

  • Communication / infrastructure, distance from different corners of the county
  • Whether to locate the headquarters on either an existing town or on a green field site

Step 2

Considering the factors that would affect the choice of location:-

  • Accessibility ( county/external )
  • Land availability
  • Climate
  • Proximity to major towns
  • Water supply
  • Accommodation
  • Roads
  • Railways
  • Airstrips
  • Security
  • Existing offices
  • ICT Infrastructure

Step 3

Using a map of County’s transport and administrative networks people chose four possible and valid alternative locations, namely Taveta, Voi, Mwatate and Wundanyi. The purpose of choosing four was to enable evaluate them against each other to determine whether the best location would actually be the best for headquarters.

Step 4

Based on factors spelled on Steps 2 and 3 people chose Voi and Mwatate as preferred top two locations

Discussion ensured on different choices, stating advantages and disadvantages of each location.
A vote was taken on the top two locations and Mwatate was voted in as County Headquarters on 11th March 2011 during meeting of 11th March 2011 that was chaired by Taita District Commissioner.

Way forward

There is need to agree upfront that as a county there is need to decentralize key economic functions for the benefit of all residents of the county, as follows;

  • Industrial Centre – Mwatate, due to its proximity to minerals
  • Agricultural Centre – Taveta, due to its potential agricultural potential
  • Tourism Centre – Wundanyi, due to its scenery, hills, water catchment area
  • Commercial Centre – Voi, due to its commercial activities, positioned on main highway.

11 thoughts on “This is How Mwatate was Selected to be Taita Taveta County Headquarters

  1. To me,it sounds democratic. Mwatate is at the centre of all major towns. I would suggest a place should be located for an airstrip,within Mwatate.

  2. I see a lot of wishful thinking: town X to be an industrial centre, town Y to be an economic hub. Are there any plans to ensure this dreams become a reality? A place doesn’t become a hub of this or that simply be decree. There are many things that must be put into place eg infrastructure, access to investment, links with global markets, etc. Voi should have been the natural choice because most infrastructure is in place. Does Mwatate, for instance, have a water distribution system? Does it have a sewer system? How about links to the information superhighway (fibre optic)? These are the questions that should have guided the decision to choose the new county hqs, otherwise billions of shillings will have to be spent building county offices from scratch.

    • You have hit the nail right on the head. Since all these happened, there seems to have been no effort geared towards improving the infrastructure of Mwatate in preparation to take up the challenge of being the county HQs. I wonder how this will be hacked!

  3. mwatate aint center coz its 100 km from voi to tvt….to makinon….mtito….so i dont see mwatate as central

  4. Ni seji bwana Maseghe wakotia wele lee awa viongozi wiko imbiri wikidielekeza ni mipangi iyao wiko nayo kufuma Mwatate yasaghulwa kama HQ’s? Dawida loli niko disighwa nanyuma mana kuvikia itanaa ndekune mipangilio ringi anduangi redielekeza kabisa shida ni kwamba wuongozi ghwa dawida ni ghwa wowa ama shida haswa eko hao????

  5. we all Know Mwatate is an Educational doubt about it.Taveta by its location is purely commercial town,Wundanyi is an agricultral town,while Voi combines both industral and administrative making mwatate a head quaters,it means as a county we will spend more to make it an administaive town

  6. I think instead we spend alot of money 2build HQ in Mwatate plz less move de HQ in Voi coz did u consider places like kasigau,maungu which a far from Mwatate,however will spend alot of money in Mwatate compare 2 voi if it was selected 2 b HQ why should we waste that funds pls

  7. Mwatate is in da centre of da county.This will help in the disbursement of the county cake. However the remote iz mwatate it iz the focal of ttc. Mwatate links the four sub-counties together.We cn there iz presence of iron ore in mwatate.

  8. Activities can take place once we have proper plans.At Wundanyi I still feel things are not yet sorted out as far as office activities are concerned.We need a working station be it Mwatate ,Wundanyi or Voi. We cannot talk of allocating offices in Mwatate since even the earth breaking has not yet taken place,Why should we hold back developments for a reason of waiting for HQ offices to be established.Lets use the Facilities we have to avoid further expences which will pull TTC even far down.

  9. why count your eggs before the hutch?mwatate,has not been develop yet?at-least to kick start the business the role the function of TTC. we could have consider the places which have the resources available while putting t planning tool on drawing board for future development on mwatate,think of HQ office,sewage and water networks also ICT infrastructure.they ,just want to waste tax payers moni for nothing.

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