The boundary row between Nandi and Kisumu counties is impacting the economies of the two counties negatively.
The row has sparked tension among traders along the border, slowing down investments in agriculture, tourism and micro-finance sectors.
“The two counties stand to lose heavily in terms of revenue generation due to insecurity fears unless the government moves fast and resolves the boundary dispute,” said Grace Atieno, a fisher monger at Chemelil market.
Traders in Chemelil, Muhoroni, Kibigori and Miwani often own businesses across the two counties. But business is suffering following accusations and counter-accusations by leaders from the two counties over the boundary row.
While the Nandi leaders are laying claim to Muhoroni, Kisumu East constituency and some industries including Chemelil Sugar Company, their Kisumu counterparts have termed the demands as an act of incitement to violence.
Led by Governor Stephen Sang, Nandi County leaders want to use colonial boundaries to resolve the long standing historical land injustices.
“We are ready to move to the African and International Court of Justice to pursue this case and seek compensation,” said Sang. Tension has gripped the common border area.
“The government should resolve the border dispute to prevent ethnic animosity and create an environment for businesses to strive,” said Joshua Serem from Chemase, Nandi County.
Mr Sang has assured communities in the disputed land of their security noting that they will follow legal process in resolving the boundary dispute.
“I want to make it clear that no community will be displaced should the National Land Commission recommend that part of the land in Nyanza be returned to Nandi County,” said Mr Sang.
Tinderet MP Julius Meli and his Aldai counterpart Cornelius Serem want farmers from the region to be given priority in the privatisation of Chemelil, Miwani and Muhoroni sugar companies arguing that the factories were in Nandi County.
But leaders from Kisumu, including Governor Anyang’ Nyongo, Muhoroni MP Onyango K’Oyoo and Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabir have dismissed demands by the Nandi leaders arguing that they will open up old wounds on historical land injustices.
They termed the demands by the Nandi leaders as a wider scheme to claim part of Kisumu County and ignite ethnic animosities.