The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has launched investigations into remarks made by Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot over the Kisumu-Kericho border dispute.
This follows rising tension amongst traders at the border town of Sondu, which the legislator said belongs to Kericho county sparking unease from a cross section of Kisumu traders and the Kisumu county government.
NCIC Commissioner Eng Phillip Okundi said it was unfortunate for the legislator to make such remarks after years of peace-building efforts that have ensured coexistence between different communities residing in the area.
“Sondu has been known all this long as a border market between Kisumu and Kericho counties and traders from both counties have lived here over the years,” he said.
“It is, therefore, wrong for an elected leader to take upon himself to make such inciteful remarks,” he added.
Speaking at Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu on Wednesday, Okundi said NCIC has embarked on recording statements over the incident, adding that after thorough review of the footage, action shall be taken against the legislator.
“We have various steps that the matter has to go through before announcing the action that shall be taken against the legislator,” he said.
NCIC, he said, shall reach out to Kisumu County Governor Prof Anyang Nyong’o and his Kericho counterpart Prof Paul Chepkwony to look into the issue and iron out any issues likely to breach the prevailing peace in the area.
“We believe that this issue is not beyond the capacity of the two governors. They have what it takes to talk and resolve any issues along the border,” he said.
Members of the County Assembly from Kisumu led by South East Nyakach MCA Johnson Guya said the position taken by the senator was against a peace agreement signed by Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang Nyong’o and his Kericho counterpart Prof Paul Chepkwony.
Guya said the boundary between the two counties was very clear with over 90 percent of the plots and land in Sondu town belonging to Kisumu County.
“Sondu has been in Kisumu since independence and the evidence is there in the available maps,” he said.
The allegation that Kisumu county revenue officers harassed traders from Kericho, he said was not true adding that traders from both sides have over the years coexisted peacefully while paying their dues to Kisumu.
He questioned the timing of the remarks as the country gears towards elections, urging the NCIC to rein in the legislator and other politicians out to create unnecessary tension to gain political mileage.
Okundi, who was flanked by fellow Commissioner Dorcas Kedogo asked politicians to desist from making reckless statements that were likely to breed tension as the country gears towards the 2022 general elections.
NCIC, he said has developed a roadmap towards peaceful 2022 general elections, adding programmes with various groups and organisations were ongoing to ensure the country remains peaceful during and after the elections.
He cautioned the youths to desist from being used by politicians and instead act as agents of change through preaching peace and cohesion to ensure that the country remains united.
Written by: KNA