Leaders from Kwale and Taita Taveta Counties have agreed to peacefully resolve a boundary conflict on Macknon Road.
In a meeting chaired by the Deputy President William Ruto in Karen, Nairobi on Friday, Governors Salim Mvurya (Kwale) and Granton Samboja (Taita-Taveta) said that the borderline issue would be resolved amicably, and communities living in the area co-exist harmoniously.
The leaders unanimously concurred that boundaries should not divide communities, but act as a link and an avenue to service delivery.
Besides promising to work together, the leaders from the two counties agreed to facilitate members of the public to participate in mediation process.
“We should resolve this matter before it escalates to a violent conflict. I call on the agencies involved in resolving it to involve all communities. That way, we would have a wholesome terminal solution to the problem,” said Mr Ruto.
The Deputy President said that there is synergy in communities working together rather than being divided by boundary issues.
He urged the people of Kwale and Taita Taveta to live together in peace as they await the final resolution by Government. As a matter of fact, Mr Ruto added, the resolution will be a win-win to both parties.
The Kwale Governor promised to approach the issue with sobriety. However, he noted that there is need to move with speed so as to put the matter to rest.
On his part, Governor Samboja requested “enforcement officers to treat each side equally.”
“The earlier this issue is resolved the better for us. We would want to focus our energies on issues that would make the lives of the people better,” said the Taita Taveta County boss.
A brief on the border dispute between the Two counties shared with the Deputy President shows that Macknon Road has been in the then Taita Taveta district, now Taita Taveta County, until 1961 when the then District Commissioner wrote a letter to the provincial commissioner Coast requesting that Macknon Road town be transferred and administered by Kwale District Commissioner.
The transfer was met with resistance from Taita Taveta leadership leading to the reverting of Macknon Road to Taita. The report says this was to take place in 1962 but it never happened.
Community leaders including MPs from both counties also attended the function.