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Senate team backs new bill to ease county border rows

Sunday March 18 2018

Haji

Senate Security Committee chairman Yusuf Haji. He met Isiolo residents on March 17, 2018. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VIVIAN JEBET
By VIVIAN JEBET
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The Senate Security Committee will push for the approval of the County Boundaries Bill to help end disputes.

The committee, which met Isiolo residents on Saturday evening after an induction retreat at Sarova Shaba Lodge, acknowledged that rows between counties had stalled development in the disputed areas.

Committee chairman Yusuf Haji said the Bill, sponsored by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr proposing the formation of a county boundaries mediation committee, had been tabled in the House.

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The Garissa Senator was reacting to concerns by Isiolo residents who said such disputes had led to deaths, injuries, displacement and tension.

Senator Haji said the committee had picked up the matter, adding that if the Bill was became law, his team would carry out its mandate.

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Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula said the Bill was in its second reading and would be presented to the National Assembly for deliberation after approval by Senate.

“Once the President signs the bill and it becomes law, a commission will be formed to look into ongoing disputes," Mr Wetang'ula said.

"The team will also meet affected people to hear their concerns.”

PATIENCE

Nairobi Senator Johnstone Sakaja urged Isiolo residents to be patient, saying boundary disputes were beyond individuals and should be left to the government.

Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo said her county was involved in border wrangles with Meru and Garissa counties.

Ms Dullo, who is also the Senate’s deputy majority leader, said development projects had stalled in Modogashe because of a border row between Isiolo and Garissa.

COMPLAINTS

Her sentiments were echoed by local leaders, among them former Isiolo Speaker Mohammed Tubi and Borana Council of Elders chairman Abdullahi Gonjobe.

They complained that the government had posted administrators in the disputed areas who reported to Garissa.