List of governors fingered for illegal territory expansion
Senators have accused governors of engaging in an “overdrive” to instigate inter-county boundary disputes in a bid to expand their territories ahead of the 2022 General Elections.
Among those fingered as the most notorious includes governors Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Mohammed Abdi (Wajir), Ali Korane (Garissa), Moses Lenokulal (Samburu), Kiraitu Murungi (Meru) Mohammed Kuti (Isiolo), Nderitu Muriithi (Laikipia) and Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta).
Others are Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and James Nyoro (Kiambu), Salim Mvurya (Kwale) Ali Roba (Mandera) and Joseph Ole Lenku (Kajiado), Stephen Sang (Nandi), Wilberforce Ottichilo (Vihiga) and Zachary Obado (Migori).
In what they termed as excitement to reawaken their political careers, the lawmakers claim, for the past six months, at least 14 county bosses have become “expansionist champions” in sponsoring ethnic and boundary disputes.
In addition, they alleged that some county chiefs had perfected the art of Alexander the Great.
Alexander the Great, was an ancient Macedonian ruler and one of history’s greatest military minds who, as King of Macedonia and Persia, established the largest empire the ancient world had ever seen.
The legislators claimed that the issue of boundary conflict reported in 14 counties has affected how counties collect their own-source revenue.
For instance, the legislators cited a Maseno town boundary dispute between Vihiga and Kisumu counties, Makueni and Taita Taveta row over Mtito Andei town.
If not checked, the expansionist theories by county bosses, the politicians held, will cause a lot of problems owing to the fact that land matters are emotive especially during elections.
The senator’s spoke following numerous petitions that have been filed to the House by residents of various counties seeking the senate’s intervention to resolve the conflicts.
“If we study very clearly about issues to do with Post-Election Violence (PEV), it has always been triggered by disputes on election matters, but the underlying issues are always to do with land. We need to handle this issue on land before 2022 elections,” Bomet Senator Christopher Langat said.
“Land is emotive and culturally sensitive. If not resolved, emotions may flare-up among affected communities,” Langat added.
“It is a high time that the NLC and the Ministry of Lands is involved to resolve this boundary dispute between counties.
This issue of boundary dispute if not well addressed it might spiral into something that we do not want to imagine,” Nandi’s Samson Cherargei warned.
Singling out, Governor Nyong’o, whom they accused of being provocative, the senators said he has created signposts, drilled water, constructed Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) classrooms and engaged in tree planting in disputed land areas at villages squarely in the heart of Nandi, Vihiga and Kericho counties.
“If you look around the country, you will see some flashpoints between Makueni and Taita Taveta, Taita Taveta and Kwale, Isiolo and Meru, Vihiga and Kisumu, Kisumu and Nandi and Kisumu and Kericho,” Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula said.
“It is quite unfortunate that in the boundary problems around Kisumu, Kisumu County appears to be the common denominator with Nandi, Vihiga and Kericho.
Fortunately, the other side has the lake and so there will be no issue,” Wetangula added.
Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot asked the House to keep in check governors who, having failed in their core duties, are excited to reawaken their political careers by engaging in emotive issues like land.
“The governor of Kisumu wants to engage himself in these unfortunate disputes at a difficult time in our country with all the challenges that we are having.
This causes great animosity amongst these communities that have coexisted peacefully for more than a hundred years,” the senator said of Muhoroni town which Nyongo has been laying claim to.
Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo said a quick solution must be found to resolve all the land issues as people are crying and dying day-in, day-out because of disputes of inter-county boundaries.
Vihiga Senator George Khaniri noted that the expansionist attitude that some county chiefs had developed lately is very dangerous.
“We just want to urge him to stop, because issues to do with county boundaries are very emotive.
They can be the cause of very serious conflicts between communities, and we do not want to get there,” Khaniri said.