A technical committee has been formed to resolve the long-standing boundary dispute between Taita-Taveta and Kwale counties at Mackinnon Road townships.
The team was formed after a meeting between Kwale Governor Salim Muvya and his Taita-Taveta counterpart Granton Samboja in a bid to diffuse tension at the disputed town.
Addressing the Press at his office after the meeting, Mr Mvurya disclosed that the technical team comprises surveyors from the two counties.
The team will be co-chaired by the Taita-Taveta Lands CEC Mwandawiro Mghanga and his Kwale counterpart Saumu Beja.
Other members of the committee are sub-county administrators.
“I consulted my colleague Governor Samboja and we realised we have a problem which cannot be solved with chest-thumping. We then agreed on this alternative conflict resolution formula, which is to let technical people lead it while we give the political backing,” said Mvurya.
He said the governors will only intervene where the situation calls for their attention.
“The whole process will involve public participation as we want it to be people-centred. We are sure that this time round, we shall come up with a lasting solution that is agreeable to both sides and that enhances peaceful co-existence and promotes integrity of our people,” he added.
Samboja said they are banking on the team to come up with an amicable solution to the boundary dispute. “What do we gain by always being in conflict over the boundary? Are we not being stupid? This time round, we shall not rest until we see white smoke come out of this process,” he said.
The committee has 30 days to compile a comprehensive report for action by the governors.
"The joint committee will see to it that a solution anchored in the law is arrived at to allow normalcy to return along the disputed border," stated Mvurya.
A fortnight ago, three senior Taita-Taveta county revenue officials were arrested for allegedly trespassing the disputed Mackinnon Road Township. But were later released.
Kwale and Taita-Taveta counties have been laying claim to the strategic township along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.
Last year, Samboja kicked off a storm when he threatened to install revenue and enforcement officers in Mackinnon and Mtito Andei towns, which are administered by Kwale and Makueni counties.