NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – Turkana County on Monday lost a petition in which it wanted the court to order for extension of its boundaries to parts of Baringo and West Pokot counties.
In the Monday ruling, the High Court further failed to order for compensation to Turkana County for damages it claimed were suffered during perennial raids linked to the boundary dispute among the three counties.
“The prayer for determination of the boundaries between Turkana County and neighbouring counties is not properly before this court,” the three judge bench ruled.
It was the finding of the judges that Turkana County’s request for the court to determine a territorial boundary could not be granted as there was ‘no violation of territorial integrity since territorial integrity applies to a State as opposed to a county’.
Turkana County through Rachier & Amollo Advocates had sought Declaratory Orders to redraw its County Boundaries to extend to parts of Baringo and West Pokot Counties. Turkana also wanted exclusive control of natural resources within what it claimed were its historical land.
Lawyer Donald Kipkorir represented Baringo County while Paul Nyamodi was acting for West Pokot.
However, the judges ordered the National Government to provide Turkana County with necessary security support and protect it from both internal and external aggression.
“We are therefore, of the view that the State has abdicated its constitutional duty,” the judges elucidated. “The State is under an obligation to take necessary steps to maintain and protect the life and property of the people of Turkana County.”
Turkana County moved to court in March last year asking the court to redraw its boundaries and award the county exclusive control of natural resources within the disputed land.
The 21 petitioners who wanted the court to declare existing boundaries illegal had argued that the boundary dispute was behind perennial raids in Turkana County and wanted the National Government compelled to provide security and compensate the county for losses suffered.
Whereas the judges acknowledged that Turkana had suffered colossal losses due to insecurity in the region, the judges said the county had not apportioned blame on any particular individuals making it difficult for the court to determine who should be responsible for compensating the petitioners.
“They have set out in detail their losses and the physical and emotional injuries that they have suffered on account of the “assailants.” However, the petitioners have not specified with sufficient particularity the individuals responsible for these atrocities neither have they provided material evidence for their claims,” the judges stated.
Furthermore, the judges said they could not determine the quantum of damages the petitioners said they had suffered.