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GARISSA leaders Oppose Matiang’i Directive on Chiefs

A section of MCAs from Garissa have differed with Interior and Coordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i following his directive that chiefs in Isiolo and Garissa counties should operate within their jurisdictions.

 

On Tuesday, Matiang’i directed North Eastern and Eastern Regional Commissioners together with Isiolo and Garissa County Commissioners to ensure that chiefs are in their jurisdiction.

The CS said that disputes over electoral and administrative boundaries fuel inter-community clashes in the region and promised action, including dismissal of chiefs who have overstepped their jurisdictional boundaries. He also blamed politics for conflict over water and pasture.

Matiang’i, Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and the top brass in the police and national government administration met political leaders from Isiolo, Wajir and Garissa at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi to discuss security and administrative issues.

Addressing the press today at the Garissa county assembly compound, the MCAs led by the majority leader Mohamed Gabow said that the CS’s directive is a recipe for more conflicts for communities that have co-existed for decades.

Gabow said that the minister overstepped his mandate adding that ‘issues to do with boundaries is under the purview of IEBC’.

 

“The CS directive is unfortunate to say the least. We find them to be more of armchair theory than factual and informed point of view. His directive has no legal basis hence is illegal,” Gabow said.

 

“The CS should know that Garissa residents are citizens of this nation and we will never be guests of anyone. His intimidation or threats to junior staff like the chiefs will not deter us from our grazing land,” he added.

 

The assembly’s minority leader Mohamed Ali said that the directive ‘was already causing tension in the disputed areas’.

 

He said that as leaders they were united in finding a lasting solution to the perennial problem but will not hesitate to call out any political leader or government official who seem to be inciting the locals ‘in any way’.

 

Ali claimed that the CS had bowed to the pressure from leaders from an Isiolo community that influenced the CS’s decision and directive.

 

Conflict has been raging at the Garbatulla – Lagdera boundary between Isiolo and Garissa where communities clashed over establishment of a settlement at Kambi Samaki and installation of an assistant chief.

 

The MCAs challenged the CS to match his words with action by reprimanding politicians from Isiolo they alleged were on the forefront in spreading hate and division. They singled out Isiolo women representative Rehema Jaldesa.

 

by Jacob Songok

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