CoG wants border bill passed to solve disputes

The Council of Governors has called for fast-tracking of the Counties Boundaries Bill 2019 currently on the Senate floor to ensure border conflicts are resolved amicably.

Council chairman Josphat Nanok said passing of the bill will provide guidelines for resolving border conflicts in at least 33 counties locked in border crisis.

Addressing the Senate’s National Cohesion induction workshop in Mombasa yesterday, he said the disputes are threatening to derail peaceful implementation of devolution.

The proposed law seeks to stem conflicts by giving the President powers to establish a mediation committee, through a Senate resolution. “As the Council of Governors, will give our input to the bill to ensure there is an understanding on the matter. We need to strengthen it before it’s passed,” said Nanok.

Senators in the workshop questioned why the bill had taken so long to sail through. Led by Kitui Senator Enock Wambua and his nominated counterpart Judith Pareno, they said border disputes have become a matter of life and death and are threatening to destabilise the country as communities seek ownership of resources.

“There have been multiple disputes between counties on boundary matters. There is, however, no established mechanism to resolve them,” said Wambua.

East African Community and Northern Corridor Development Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, however, said border conflicts were being fuelled by politicians.

Bungoma and Busia have had issues over the actual location of their boundary, while Kisumu and Vihiga are engaged in a row over the border line in Maseno.

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