Akaranga appoints deputy to lead taskforce on Maseno row

Sunday February 28 2016

Vihiga County Governor Moses Akaranga during a past event. He on February 28, 2016 appointed his deputy to lead a 10-member taskforce to prepare a report on a border row pitting Kisumu County on the location of Maseno Township. PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Vihiga County Governor Moses Akaranga during a past event. He on February 28, 2016 appointed his deputy to lead a 10-member taskforce to prepare a report on a border row pitting Kisumu County on the location of Maseno Township. PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By DERICK LUVEGA
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Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga has appointed his deputy to lead a 10-member taskforce to prepare a report on a border row pitting Kisumu County on the location of Maseno Township.

The Caleb Amaswache led taskforces is also mandated with drafting a motion on the disputed location for debate in the County Assembly.

Mr Akaranga claimed Maseno Township in May last year but toned down after the Francis ole Kaparo-led National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) warned it would prosecute any leader perpetuating hatred among Maseno locals.

But while unveiling the task force at the county assembly buildings in Majengo on Sunday, Mr Akaranga who insisted that Maseno belongs to Vihiga, said the taskforce would offer a lasting solution to the problem.

However, the governor did not specify the timeframe under which the task force will be required to complete its work.

Once the motion is approved, Mr Akaranga said, a petition will be sent to the National Assembly and the Senate seeking a boundary review to determine the exact location of the disputed Township.

“Maseno people have for a long time fought for their rights and inclusion in the former Western Province and presently in Vihiga County where they rightly belong were it not for the colonial boundaries which placed them in a neighbouring county,” he said.

The cleric turned politician further noted that he had personally visited the area to restore peace and calm emotions whenever provocation was high.

“I appeal for patience and support as Maseno dispute is now a county Government issue,” the governor said.

In May last year, Governor Akaranga said his administration was losing millions of shillings in local revenue to Kisumu County which he accused of taking over markets in two locations in Maseno.

He further said that residents of the area who are mainly members of the Bunyore community faced discrimination from Kisumu County despite paying taxes.

“There is urgent need for a boundary review to avert any trouble in future,” he said at that time adding that the matter needed to be resolved amicably before the situation got out of hand.

The township hosts Maseno University, Maseno School, a Mission Hospital and several other institutions and market centres.

Kisumu leaders have accused the Vihiga governor of making inflammatory statements on the issue.