Politics and policy

Charity Ngilu map puts Konza counties on collision path

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Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana (standing) and Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior during a past stakeholders’ forum on the Konza Technopolis. Photo/FILE

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana (standing) and Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior during a past stakeholders’ forum on the Konza Technopolis. Photo/FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Mugambi Mutegi and Okuttah Mark

Posted  Tuesday, October 29  2013 at  22:05

In Summary

  • The map, which was released to the public Tuesday, seeks to resolve, among others, the boundary dispute over Konza Technopolis involving Machakos, Makueni and Kajiado counties.  
  • In a strongly worded statement accompanying the map, Mrs Ngilu warned county governments squabbling over resources against altering the map and its boundaries.
  • It also says that the Makueni governor, or his designate, shall sit on the board, leaving out his Kajiado and Machakos counterparts, implying that Makueni county was to be the key beneficiary of revenues from the project expected to be complete by 2017.

Lands secretary Charity Ngilu has published an official map of Kenya showing county boundaries hoping to extinguish territorial disputes that have dogged the devolved government units since their inception six months ago.

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The map, which was released to the public Tuesday, seeks to resolve, among others, the boundary dispute over Konza Technopolis involving Machakos, Makueni and Kajiado counties.  

In a strongly worded statement accompanying the map, Mrs Ngilu warned county governments squabbling over resources against altering the map and its boundaries.

“(Any person) desirous of making a map of the Republic of Kenya or a graphic reorientation of the whole or part of the Republic of Kenya on any format of display or medium shall do so based on the official map,” the minister said.

“Please note that anybody found making alterations to the national and international boundaries of the Republic of Kenya as published by the Survey of Kenya, the official national mapping agency, will face the full force of the law.”

Publication of the map came weeks after the minister met the Kajiado, Machakos and Makueni governors, who have been fighting over the location of the Sh850 billion Konza technology city.

The governors and their constituents have claimed to different portions of the planned city sparking controversy that is threatening to derail the project set for commissioning in December.

Mrs Ngilu, who is currently in the spotlight over claims of irregular appointments in her department, now seems keen to stamp her authority on the matter and several others across the country.

In August, Makueni residents led by their county representatives, accused Machakos leaders of colluding with Lands ministry officials to alter the county boundaries.

Makueni residents and their leaders held a demonstration along the busy Nairobi-Mombasa Road, near the project site, to push the government to intervene.
The protesters said a large part of the project is in Makueni with sections extending to Machakos and Kajiado counties.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior Tuesday rejected the newly published map, saying it has been the cause of the protests.

“The map is what we have been protesting all along since it moves one ward in Kilome Constituency to Machakos county and another ward in Machakos has been moved to Makueni,” he said.

“The net effect of this interchange is that Konza city now seems to be in Machakos County — a move aimed at disenfranchising our county.”

Mr Kilonzo Junior said the map is contrary to what is stated in the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA) Bill, which describes Konza as the “parcel of land known as Land Reference Number 9918/5 located within Makueni County measuring approximately 2023.6 hectares.”

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