Governors from the Lake Region Economic Bloc have resolved to use elders in resolving inter county conflicts.
The governors who attended the 4th LREB Summit in Kisii on Friday held an extensive meeting with elders from Kisii and Nyamira where they emphasized on the need for elders to play a key role in sorting inter county boundary and other conflicts.
Some of the inter county conflicts that have occurred in the recent past include Kisumu and Vihiga over the Maseno, Kisumu and Nandi, Kisumu and Kericho, Kisii and Nyamira Counties.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said that Kenya will better if elders are involved adding that the constitution recognizes their role.
“Elders have a major role to play in promoting peace and this what the block will not want to miss,” Wamalwa said.
Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o noted that the bloc can only grow if elders are fully involved in solving conflicts.
He expressed his delight that some elders including the Kisii Council of Elders Chairman James Matundura had taken a course in conflict resolution at Kisii University.
Nyong’o said that he is going to copy the example from the Gusii elders and involve elders from Kisumu engaging in peace events along affected border.
The chairman of the bloc Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said: “I have really admired the way the council of elders from both Kisii and Nyamira counties are working in conflict resolution,” Oparanya said.
The governors were responding to Matundura who urged the governors especially from the counties which have been experiencing the conflicts to do saying that it is through peace that the bloc can flourish.
Matundura singled out Kisii-Bomet and Kisumu-Nandi borders where there has been frequent conflicts over boundaries, cattle rustling and land.
The meeting came before the closure of a two day summit at Kisii Sports Club which was discussing the way forward for the bloc
The Governors present were bloc chairman Wycliffe Oparanya of Kakamega, host governor James Ongwae, Joyce Laboso (Bomet), Wilbar Otichilo(Vihiga) John Nyagarama (Nyamira), Anyang Nyong’o (Kisumu) and a number of deputy governors.
Matundura informed the team that peace has since been restored along Kisii-Bomet border because elders from both sides worked closely with governors.
“We will not be talking of a vibrant economic block if there will be no peace along the borders of member counties,” Matundura said.
“We managed to resolve conflicts on borders after the formation of conflict resolution committees which used to work closely with governors and MPs,” He added.
He praised Governor James Ongwae for organizing such a summit which enabled them to give their views of how the bloc should grow.
The Governors toured the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital which is one of Governor Ongwae’s flagship projects. They also held meetings with youths at the Kisii Culture Hall.