Western Kenya Counties Fight over Township, Bullock From the Land Raila Odinga Says ‘Bury the hatchet’

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Kenya opposition coalition Cord leader and Africa’s renowned opposition political icon Raila Odinga called on the leadership in his ancestral western counties of Vihiga and Kisumu to end a row over the location of Maseno Township.

The township is contested by the two neighbors with each claiming ownership and absolute control of the taxes collected from the booming economic activity therein.

On Tuesday July 19,2016, Odinga during a political rally said the Luhyia and Luo communities, which form the majority of residents of Maseno, have co-existed peacefully in the area for decades and need to continue the cordial relationship.

“Every community benefits from Maseno. We have Maseno University, Maseno School, and a number of hospitals, churches and courts where the Luos, Luhyias and any other tribe have benefitted from. We do not need to fight over this town,” said Mr Odinga as he addressed locals at Ekwanda, in Luanda during his second day of his tour in the Western region.

The ODM chief said that leaders from both sides, including members of Parliament who had visited his Bondo home to discuss the border issue, must work to find a lasting solution.

“I am sure the parliamentary committee mandated to probe the border row will come out with a solution that will benefit everyone,” said Odinga.

Odinga spoke about the border row after one of the area MPs Christopher Omulele, raised it at the rally.

Omulele had asked his Kisumu West counterpart John Olago Aluoch to help end the row.

“Our people have been doing businesses, studying together and have married from both sides and therefore a border row cannot kill the once strong bond we have,” said Omulele.

Omulele said he had approached Odinga and expressed his concern that the row was taking a worrying trend.

“I was concerned and that is why I met Mr Odinga before meeting my Kisumu West counterpart John Olago Aluoch to see how we could solve the matter without sparking a war,” he said.

The MP told the residents that Parliament will solve the row.

“It was after meeting the two leaders that we took the petition to Parliament with a view to compelling the National Lands Commission to visit the area and start the process of resolving the boundary issue,” said Omulele.

Source: Daily Nation