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Lenku, Samboja sign MoU to end 50 year boundary dispute

Sunday July 05 2020
LENKU

Taita-Taveta Governor Granton Samboja greets Senator Jones Mwaruma at Mbele Primary School when they announced the devolved unit would start collecting revenue at the disputed Mackinnon Road Town. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By STANLEY NGOTHO
By LUCY MKANYIKA







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A boundary row spanning over 50 years between Kajiado and Taita-Taveta has been solved amicably with the two counties signing a memorandum of understanding in a truce brokered by the respective governors.

This comes at a time tension is rife due to disputed boundaries, with counties competing for resources.

Since 1950s’ colonial boundaries, the defunct districts never had known beacons to mark the border line with intermarriage between the Maasai and Taita complicating the matter.

The border line ought to mark the historical borderline between the Coast and Rift Valley regions.

Since inception of devolution in 2013, the boundary dispute has over the years given rise to a revenue collection and resource standoff between the two county governments. Water, land rates and cess fees have been a thorny issue.

DISPUTE

However, two weeks ago, Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku and his Taita-Taveta counterpart Granton Samboja agreed to solve the dispute through a special technical committee comprising 11 members from either side.

The committee headed by Taita-Taveta Lands CEC Mwandawiro Mghanga and his Kajiado countypart Hamilton Pesaina, has so earmarked a border line and erected beacons ending the dispute.  Kajiado South Deputy County Commissioner Lawrence Kinyua assured residents Lelai border town of enhanced security.

 When signing the MoU at Lerai on Saturday, Mr Lenku said the truce is a landmark achievement for the two neighbouring counties, adding that conflicts are an impediment to development.

 Further, Governor Samboja extended an olive branch to Kwale and Makueni counties to end a protracted border dispute at Mackinnon Road and Mtito Andei towns that has dragged for decades.

He said his government was ready to settle the row with the neighbouring counties for peaceful coexistence between communities living in the disputed areas.

Mr Samboja was speaking at Elerai when he signed the MoU with Mr Lenku to resolve a boundary row at Rombo ranch.

He said the agreement to end the Rombo border row was an indication of Taita-Taveta’s willingness to resolve boundary disputes with its neighbours.

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