Why These 10 Counties are Likely to be Renamed

May 29, 2024

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has announced plans to rename ten counties in the country.

The Commission said it will file a petition before parliament seeking to change the names of ten counties currently named after ethnic groups.

NCIC chairperson Reverend Samuel Kobia made the announcement during a press briefing on Monday, May 27, 2024, discussing the state of peace and cohesion in Kenya.

Kobia explained that renaming counties currently named after specific ethnic groups will eliminate potential discrimination along ethnic lines, which is the commission’s objective.

The NCIC added that the move will also eliminate potential discrimination against people from minority ethnic groups residing in these counties.

10 Counties Likely to be Renamed

The counties slated for renaming by the commission are Meru, Embu, Tharaka-Nithi, Nandi, Turkana, Kisii, Samburu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Taita-Taveta, and West Pokot.

“NCIC shall advocate for the tabling of a motion in parliament for renaming counties that are identified by specific ethnic groups to eliminate potential discrimination along ethnic lines. We are committed to ensuring Kenya remains a peaceful society and that the gains made over the last many years are solidified,” Kobia said.

According to the commission, the renaming of the counties will ensure that every Kenyan feels welcome and safe regardless of their ethnic background while staying in any part of the country.

Reverend Kobia made these remarks during the release of a report on the state of peace and cohesion in the country, where NCIC highlighted devolution and boundary disputes as one of the biggest challenges to peace and cohesion in Kenya.

The commission identified land and boundary disputes as perennial sources of conflict in Kenya.

In its report, NCIC estimated that 33 out of the 47 counties have boundary-related disputes, noting that these conflicts often escalate into ethnic conflicts due to the counties being delineated along ethnic lines.

The commission has mapped out boundary disputes between counties such as Kericho-Kisumu, Isiolo-Meru, Turkana-Baringo-West Pokot, Kitui-Tana River, and Makueni-Taita-Taveta, among others.

According to the commission, renaming counties is one of the measures and solutions it believes will help curb this recurring menace.

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