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Government intervenes in Nandi-Kisumu border dispute

Nandi leaders led by Governor Stephen Sang (centre) address the press over concerns following the existing cases of insecurity along the Nandi-Kisumu borders. [Peter Ochieng/Standard]

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and his Nandi counterpart Stephen Sang have agreed to resolve a border row amicably.

At a meeting held in Nakuru attended by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and top security officials, the governors downplayed the issue, saying there was no bad blood between them.

“We have unanimously agreed to let IEBC and NLC handle matters pertaining to boundary disputes and land in our counties.

“It has been an emotive issue and the best way to deal with it is using the legal frameworks available,” said Nyong’o.

His sentiments were echoed by Governor Sang who said they would work closely with the constitutional agencies “to ensure the flare-ups witnessed especially during electioneering period along the boundaries do not recur”.

Emotive issue

Matiang’i held a five-hour meeting with the two county leaders and elders over the emotive issue that threatens to open old wounds touching on alleged historical injustices.

Nandi County is claiming seven key towns along the border, arguing that the towns originally belonged to it.

Its leaders want the National Land Commission (NLC) and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to set in motion a process of returning the sugarcane-growing towns to their original borders. 

The towns are Chemelil, Muhoroni, Kibigori, Miwani, Kibos, Koru and Kopere.

Chemelil, Muhoroni and Kibigori are perennial violence hotspots; often sparked by cattle rustling incidents.

The petition by Nandi County had raised concerns that new tensions could be re-ignited in the area.

The meeting came even as it emerged that the Nandi administration, in addition to the claim on the key towns, also wants popular historical escarpment at the border of Nandi and Kisumu counties renamed.

Original name

Nandi contests that the Nyando escarpment was historically named ‘Nandi Escarpment,’ and it should revert to its original name.

During yesterday’s meeting, Matiang’i called for peace, noting that it is not necessary for the Government to station security agents along the county borders.

The two governors agreed to sponsor periodic inter-county visits for elders from the two counties to foster peaceful coexistence.

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