Central Regional Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga has assured residents of Ichagaki Location in Murang'a County that the ongoing process of picking a new chief will be done fairly.
His assurance follows fears expressed by the residents that the process has been compromised after allegations that have criminals infiltrated it in order ensure one of their own gets the job.
The position fell vacant after the retirement Mr Mohammed Ali Mzee in July.
During a security meeting on Friday presided over by Deputy Inspector of Police Edward Mbugua and County Commissioner Mohammed Barre, the residents claimed that the criminals had collected Sh500,000 which they intend to use to influence the process.
"I know about those concerns. They have been brought to my attention and I have shared them with the team involved in the interviews. We know about the fears raised by the community and certainly we will give them a chief that they deserve, not the one the crooks deserve," Mr Nyagwanga told the Nation by phone.
The residents had said that the gangs from Maica Ma Thi, Gititu, Gikindu and Maragua town seek to control who ascends to the position "in order to take care of their interests".
Mr Barre said that so far, 11 people have applied for the position and that the process to pick the Ichagaki Location chief will be above board, public interest and competency will be considered.