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IEBC locked out of county border rows

Wednesday June 27 2018

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i (centre) with Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o (left) and Nandi Governor Stephen Sang when they met in Nakuru on June 19, 2018. The IEBC will not solve boundary disputes between counties. PHOTO | FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

RUSHDIE OUDIA
By RUSHDIE OUDIA
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The electoral commission will not solve boundary disputes between counties because it is only mandated to deal with constituencies, Chairman Wafula Chebukati says.

He said only parliament can alter county boundaries and that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will not get involved in the rows.

“We will stick to our mandate on constituencies. The county boundaries can only be reviewed after Parliament forms a special committee to handle the matter specifically,” said Mr Chebukati.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang’ sparked a controversy recently when he indicated he will present a petition to IEBC and the National Lands Commission to adjust the county's borders to have Miwani, Kibos, Kibigori, Kopere, Chemelil and Muhoroni, which are in Kisumu, within its jurisdiction.

CAUSED TENSION

The row has caused tension among traders along the border, slowing down investment in Agriculture and microfinance sectors. According to some residents, the two counties stand to lose heavily in terms of revenue generation following fears of insecurity unless the government solves the dispute. Also being contested is whether Maseno lies in Kisumu or Vihiga County.

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However, Mr Fred Matiang’i, the Internal Security Cabinet Secretary last week warned of stern action against politicians taking advantage of the dispute to incite communities.

EVALUATION EXERCISE

Mr Chebukati was addressing journalists in Kisumu during a forum on post-election evaluation exercise which brought together more than 600 participants comprising commissioners, directors, managers, county and constituency election officials and ICT staff.

He said the 290 constituencies will be maintained unless the constitution is changed through a referendum to accommodate new proposals.

“The law is clear on the number of constituencies and their boundaries. If Kenyans wish to review this, the will have to change the constitution,” said Mr Chebukati.