Third Eye

Forestall boundary dispute at all cost

Friday, December 11th, 2020 00:00 |

Recent history has demonstrated elections are a matter of life and death in the country.

Politicians and the government invest a lot of resources to organise elections.

Indeed, the country has lost lives and the economy disrupted in the last three General-Elections.

The main reason advanced for this unfortunate trend is the fact that various Kenyan communities attach acquisition of political power to distribution of resources.

This attitude is reinforced by past tendencies in which national leaders used their positions to skew allocation of resources to benefit their communities, political supporters and business associates to the exclusion of the rest.

A system of governance that does not accord every citizen fair access to opportunity is certain to degenerate into a breeding ground for grievances on inequality, access and control of resources that would often end up in disastrous conflicts and instability.

There is a nexus between denial of access to resources and conflict. Often, marginalised groups that feel deprived seek justice in ways that degenerate into violence. 

Architects of the Building Bridges Initiative have indicated that it intends to prevent election-related strife through constitutional amendments.

Besides political patronage, resources in Kenya are shared on the basis of population, poverty levels, land mass and fiscal responsibility, particularly for the devolved units.

With the outset of devolution, communities have attached importance to resources in their regions and would go to any length to prevent any deprivation.

That is why the issue of delimination of boundaries is emotive. It is currently the cause of conflict in 21 counties.

State agencies have sounded the alarm that the country is staring at a possible eruption of violence ahead of the 2022 polls if boundary disputes affecting counties are not resolved.

The disputes mainly revolve around and the sharing of resources, administrative units, national government projects and institutions, collection of revenue and votes.

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission has warned that the disputes are a time bomb.

It does not help that they are fuelled by local leaders to serve vested political interests.

Kenya cannot afford another period of uncertainty and economic instability after the next General Election.

The authorities responsible should put their act together and resolve the disputes—before it is too late.

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