Until after the August general elections, the government has put a moratorium on the creation of new administration units such as sub-locations, locations, divisions, and sub-counties as service delivery units in the Eastern and Northeastern Regions, as well as land adjudications along county lines in the regions.
The decision was based on the “need to prevent milking political capital out of the exercises and avoiding increasing ethnic, clan, and other potential conflicts around the process,” according to Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.
Matiang’i voiced alarm over the politicization of boundary problems after chairing a meeting of security leaders from Meru and Isiolo counties in Isiolo.
“There is a challenge of a boundary between Meru and Isiolo. It is a challenge because of attempts on both sides to politicize an issue that has no politics at all because under the act the boundaries are very well defined,” Matiang’i said.
Cross-border conflicts have erupted in a number of counties in the region over disputed boundaries and access to resources such as land, pasture, and water.
Meru-Isiolo, Meru-Tharaka Nithi, Isiolo-Garissa, Kitui-Tana River, Makueni-Taita Taveta, and Makueni-Kajiado are among the counties affected.
He stated that it is not the responsibility of administrators to discuss boundary issues, stressing that they work completely according to the Act’s prescriptions.
As part of preparations to avert more clashes, the Interior CS also stated that the government will reassess the deployment of security services operating along the borders of Meru and Isiolo counties.
“The Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General are going to put in a team, working together jointly with security team in Meru and Isiolo to look relook the deployment and placement of this unit so that we create sufficient and effective buffer to ensure that interactions between the two counties are peaceful,” he said.
In the midst of environmental challenges, Matiang’i said the government had devised new resource-sharing systems to ensure peace if communities shared infinite resources.
Boundary conflicts have turned lethal in certain cases, resulting in the deaths of people and the displacement of others.
Matiang’i also blamed the abundance of illegal weaponry for the region’s insecurity problems.
The interior secretary stated that the government is committed to preventing conflict-related deaths in the country.
“Even as we go through this election season, our objective as a government remains to minimize avenues for conflict to zero so that our country may be peaceful,” he said.
Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and other key security chiefs followed Matiang’i.