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Kwale and Taita-Taveta Governors set to meet to diffuse border tensions

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya has announced that he is set to hold high-level talks with his Taita-Taveta counterpart Granton Samboja to end the latest border standoff between the two devolved units in the coastal region.
Mvurya on Friday said he spoke to his counterpart over the phone and both agreed to meet next week to peacefully resolve the situation in the disputed border areas.
The boundary dispute has been simmering between the two counties with each laying claim to the Kuranze mining zone which is home to several gemstone mines.
The two devolved units are also embroiled in a boundary dispute over the bustling Mackinon Road Township along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway with each claiming that it is within their confines.
Taita-Taveta is involved in similar disputes with Makueni and Kajiado counties.
“I spoke with Governor Samboja and we agreed on the need to hold face-to-face talks and resolve the border disputes amicably,” Mvurya said.
Speaking in Kwale town Mvurya said that he has agreed with his counterpart that officials from both administrations will desist in engaging in activities that will likely raise tensions.
Mvurya underscored the need to recognize that Kwale and Taita-Taveta counties cannot exist without each other.
Two weeks ago Taita Taveta administration’s efforts to start collecting taxes in Mackinon Township was met with stiff resistance from Kwale officials who accused their counterparts of trespass.
“The long-standing boundary dispute between our two counties will end after holding broad-based consultations and actively keeping the public engaged,” said Mvurya adding that he and Samboja pledged closer cooperation.
The Kwale governor said he hoped the impending cross-border talks will lead to peaceful coexistence and avoid the occasional disquiet in the border region.
By Hussein Abdullahi

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