NAIROBI, Kenya, June 30 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has said talks are ongoing to resolve a border dispute between Nandi and Kisumu.
According to Matiangi, similar talks were ongoing to forestall a simmering dispute between Kericho and Kisumu counties.
“I held a meeting with the leaders of Nandi and Kisumu last week and we discussed extensively how to resolve the matter. We shall do the same in the emerging Kericho-Kisumu dispute,” Matiangi said on Friday when he inspected three newly acquired police helicopters.
He, however, urged leaders to be cautious in their utterances saying provocative statements could further escalate tensions.
“Seventy per cent of some of the security challenges we have in the country are things we can resolve ourselves. Some are occasioned by irresponsible utterances on part of some of our leaders or sometimes aggression that is totally unnecessary,” the CS remarked.
On Wednesday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declined to be drawn into inter-county border wrangles saying its mandate was strictly limited to reviewing constituency boundaries.
“We will stick to our mandate on constituencies. The county boundaries can only be reviewed after Parliament forms a special committee to handle the matter specifically,” IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said.
Speaking at a post-election evaluation exercise meeting in Kisumu, he insisted that IEBC mandate was strictly limited to the review of names and boundaries of constituencies.
Under Article 89 (2) of the Constitution (2010) the poll agency is to review “names and boundaries of constituencies at intervals of not less than eight years, and not more than twelve years, but any review shall be completed at least 12 months before a General Election of Members of Parliament.”
Chebukati’s remarks came at a time Nandi Governor Stephen Sang’ had announced his intention to petition the IEBC and the National Lands Commission to adjust the county’s border with Kisumu to include some contested areas in its jurisdiction.
The contested areas include Chemelil, Miwani, and Muhoroni where the two counties have had disputes over revenue collection from traders at the border.
The border wrangles are however not unique to Nandi, Kisumu, and Kericho counties alone.
There is a bubbling dispute between Vihiga and Kisumu over where in between the two counties Maseno lies.
At the Coast, Kwale and Taita Taveta leaders have traded over unresolved border issues dating back to the advent of devolution.
The two counties have had a row over the location of a border at Miasenyi with leaders from Taita Taveta arguing that the boundary should be at the Mackinnon Road trading centre, near the Mackinnon Road Wildlife Camp.
Taita Taveta also has a border dispute with Makueni over a 65 kilometer stretch of land between the Tsavo River and Mtito Andei.