The council of governors has called for fast-tracking of the counties boundaries bill 2019 currently at the floor of the Senate to ensure border conflicts are amicably solved without necessarily moving to court.
COG Chairman Josephat Nanok while addressing Senate national cohesion induction workshop said the passage of the bill will provide guidelines for solving border conflicts in at least 33 counties locked in border crisis.
The disputes, involving more than half of the 47 counties, have threatened to derail peaceful implementation of devolution.The proposed law seeks to stem this by giving the President powers to establish a mediation committee, through a Senate resolution, to solve the wrangles before their escalation.
There are several unresolved disputes across the country involving county administrations over key installations.For instance, Makueni and Machakos are fighting over Konza City and attempts by the Senate to find a solution in the past have failed.
"We as the council of governors will give imputes into the bill so as to ensure there is a common understanding of the matter. We need to strengthen it before it’s passed. Already 33 counties are involved in boundaries conflicts,” said Nanok.
The matter took center stage during the induction workshop in Mombasa on Sunday when a section of senators questioned why the bill had taken so long to sail through.
Led By Kitui senator Enock Wambua and nominated senator Judith Pareno Border disputes have become a matter of life and death and threaten to destabilize the country as ethnic communities vie for resources.
“Since the promulgation of the Constitution, there have been multiple disputes between counties on boundary matters. There is, however, no established mechanism for resolution of such disputes,” said Wambua.
Pareno said in a number of these cases, tensions between communities living at these border points are boiling to alarming levels.But Cabinet secretary Munya who was recently appointed CS in charge of East African Community and Northern Corridor Development said the issue of border conflicts was being fueled by politicians.
“The problems have become complex because politicians have been using it for their political agenda. We need to sensitize the public to understand that there are law and procedures for solving boundary disputes, “said Munya.