Inside Politics

Senators support bill seeking to resolve county boundary disputes

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 00:00 |
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr, the sponsor of the Bill. Photo/FILE

Senators have backed a bill seeking to resolve county boundary disputes in the wake of rising cases of inter-county boundary rows ahead of the high stakes 2022 General Election.

Under Article 188 of the Constitution, the jurisdiction of altering boundaries lies squarely with Parliament, the National Assembly and Senate.

Currently, county boundaries are anchored under the District and Provinces Act of 1992, which defined the boundaries.

The county boundaries bill, 2021 provides a legal framework for the resolution of the disputes and procedures for the altercation of the boundaries.

It provides procedures for creation of establishment of an independent commission to oversee delimitation of county boundaries.

 “This Bill is expected to ensure resolution of disputes concerning county boundaries and to provide a framework for the alteration of the boundaries of a county should the need arise,” the bill reads in part.

Currently, at least 15  counties are embroiled in bitter wrangles over boundaries, some degenerating to clashes leading to deaths and displacement and sometimes created a row collection of  own-source revenue.

Alteration of boundaries

There is also a dispute in the Kapedo area between Turkana and Baringo. Article 188 of the Constitution provides that Parliament shall form a commission that shall recommend alteration of a county boundary and deal with any disputes.

“This Bill creates that very important framework for us to be able to settle disputes amicably,” Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen said.

“A number of other counties including my county and Uasin Gishu had a lot of disputes as to which corner we should put the barrier for revenue collection from one county to the other,” he added.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr, who is the sponsor of the Bill, said that the proposed law will not only resolve the disputes but will also anchor the counties in law.

Besides, Mutula cautioned individuals he termed as expansionist that with the bill in place they will not be able to alter any boundaries going into future as they will have to meet the threshold is two-thirds of the Members of Parliament, which is nearly like amending the Constitution.

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