Resolve border disputes

What you need to know:

  • Taita-Taveta is feuding with neighbours Makueni and Kwale over the ownership of some potentially revenue-spinning townships.
  • The county leaders who feel aggrieved should go to court to seek redress or seek the counsel of the National Land Commission.

There are simmering boundary disputes between various counties that could easily cause serious conflicts unless judiciously resolved.

The latest is between some coastal and eastern region counties that have shown the possibility of degenerating into ugly fights.

Taita-Taveta is feuding with neighbours Makueni and Kwale over the ownership of some potentially revenue-spinning townships. Some Taita-Taveta officials have attempted to set up revenue collection offices in Mtito-Andei and Mackinnon Road townships, drawing angry reactions from Makueni and Kwale, respectively.

Makueni, Kajiado and Machakos counties have been claiming ownership of the multibillion-shilling Konza technopolis.

Kakamega and Nandi have seen border clashes in which people have been injured. Meru accuses Isiolo of encroachment on its land. Kericho and Kisii residents have also been haggling over borders along the tea plantations.

Kisii and Nyamira have both laid claim to Keroka.
These disputes are retrogressive. The county boundaries were demarcated along the old district borders and enshrined in the 2010 Constitution.

The question that arises is where some of the leaders apparently fuelling the conflicts have been in the past 10 years. However, if there is a genuine grievance, there is a mechanism for dealing with this.

The county leaders who feel aggrieved should go to court to seek redress or seek the counsel of the National Land Commission.

It is, therefore, encouraging to note that the Taita-Taveta has petitioned the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) to hear and resolve its border disputes with its neighbours.

Counties taking unilateral decisions such as deploying their own personnel in disputed areas should realise that this amounts to incitement and must be discouraged.