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MPs move to address county boundaries disputes with new Bill

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024 12:36 | By
Members of Parliament during one of their sessions. PHOTO/@NAssemblyKE/X
Members of Parliament during one of their sessions. PHOTO/@NAssemblyKE/X.

Kenyan Members of Parliament are currently debating the County Boundaries Bill, 2023, which seeks to establish a mechanism for resolving boundary disputes.

Upon passage of the Bill in the National Assembly, a county boundaries mediation committee will be established to facilitate communication. These committees will be empowered to investigate disputes, propose settlements, and issue reports.

Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Moses Wetang'ula PHOTO/@NAssemblyKE/X
Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Moses Wetang'ula PHOTO/@NAssemblyKE/X

By passing the Bill, the MPs will be implementing Article 188 of the Constitution, which specifies a procedure for changing county boundaries.

In the event that this bill passes, an independent county boundary commission will be established to oversee the entire process, from disputing to altering county boundaries.

The Bill draws its history from the tribal clashes between the Nandi and Luhya between 1980 and 1992 in the Kuvasali-Nandi escarpment. Despite current claims that this is a result of politics, land disputes were left unresolved and poverty caused people to turn to violence.

Ever since that time, communities living along the border on the expansive Nandi escarpment have been caught up in a vicious cycle of inter-ethnic clashes. It was in 2020 that a section of MPs from Western Kenya demanded the 2,000 people evicted from Nandi County over a land dispute be allowed to resettle there.

In their complaint, the MPs accused the Interior Ministry and the Judiciary of forcing evictions at the expense of the families.

Many of those evicted said that they had lived in the area for more than 40 years.

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