Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Monday, 18 Sep 2017 16:14 EATjonyando@kenyafreepress.com
In a move that will bring the hot topic of secession to mainstream political and legal debates, two petitioners from the Luyia community today filed a case at the High Court seeking a referendum for people in the former Nyanza and Western provinces as well as current Turkana, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Narok, Bomet, Kericho counties in the Rift Valley to decide whether to secede from Kenya.
The petitioners, Mathew Okwanda Mwilitsa and Alex Misigo Matisa, who identify themselves as residents of Kakamega and Vihiga counties, espectively, want the Kenya government to allow the current inhabitants of the referenced area, who for the better part of British colonialism were ruled as part of the Uganda Colony, to hold a referendum and decide on self-determination.
The petition was filed at the Constitutional Division of the High Court, and among its respondents are the governments of Uganda, Kenya and Britain. The petitioners aver in their claim. “The inhabitants of the former Eastern Province of Uganda were between the years 1895 – 1962 a distinct, cohesive, homogeneous and a united community under the able leadership of their King Nabongo Mumia, whose territorial jurisdiction spread from Jinja in present-day Uganda to Kijabe with the boundary being at Susua in the then British East Africa Protectorate (now Kenya).”
The petition alleges that British colonisers rejected the demands by members of Luyia community to have their own kingdom during the Lancaster House Talks that brokered Kenya’s independence in 1963. It alleges that members of the community had prayed to the British to leave them in their own independent republic which had been functioning well under the Nabongo Mumia kingdom.
“The petitioners are personally and on behalf of their community urging the honourable court to be pleased to grant the people occupying the territory formerly known as the Eastern Province of Uganda leave to hold a referendum so as to exercise their right to determination in terms of their rights to nationality, territorial integrity, economic, social and culture as a people”.