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Leaders’ row rages over Keroka

NYANZA
By By KENAN MIRUKA | November 12th 2013

By KENAN MIRUKA

KISII AND NYAMIRA COUNTIES: Leaders in Kisii and Nyamira counties clashed over the unresolved Keroka town boundary row.

MPs Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba), Elijah Moindi (Nyaribari Masaba) and Kisii County Deputy Governor Joash Maangi gave differing statements on the town’s boundary at the weekend.

Bosire maintained Keroka was 98 per cent in his constituency and therefore in Nyamira County while Maangi said only 56 per cent of the town was in Nyamira.

“Keroka is a cosmopolitan township which is largely in Nyamira County and we should respect that. It is one of the largest commercial centres in the region so let’s find ways of co-existing peacefully because the boundary is not an issue,” said Bosire.

He faulted the Transition Authority (TA) for publishing an advisory stating that the town is in Kisii County. Nyamira and Kisii Woman Representatives Alice Chae and Mary Otara did not comment on the boundary issue.

When he rose to speak, Deputy Governor Maangi accused Bosire of peddling falsehoods saying the TA had spelt out clearly where the town belonged.

Boycott paying taxes

“It is important for leaders to tell the truth. I want to state that Keroka is both in Kisii and Nyamira counties. 44 per cent of it is in Kisii while the remaining larger part is in Nyamira,” said Maangi.

Moindi echoed Maangi’s sentiments saying the town has always been in Kisii and the boundary has never been disputed since its inception in the 1950s.

Two weeks ago, residents of the town staged a demonstration to protest alleged neglect in service delivery by the two counties. They threatened to boycott paying taxes until the issue is resolved.

Governors James Ongwae (Kisii) and John Nyagarama (Nyamira) denied neglecting the town and each announced they had set aside funds, Sh30 million and Sh50 million respectively, to develop the town.

Speaking separately to The Standard, Nyamira County Senator Mongare Bw’Okongo asked leaders to stop making populist statements about the town.  A meeting to discuss the town is set for November 20.

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