Governor Simba Arati Risks Imprisonment in Territory Dispute


Governor Simba Arati Risks Imprisonment in Territory Dispute

Rigoma Member of County Assembly (MCA) Nyambega Gisesa has initiated legal proceedings by filing a petition at the Environment and Lands Court of Kenya in Nyamira.

The petition aims to secure the apprehension of Kisii Governor Simba Arati on charges of contempt of court.

As indicated in the court documents disclosed on Monday, March 4, Gisesa additionally seeks the arrest of the acting County Secretary and Head of Public Service in the County Government of Kisii, Robert Ombasa, for the same contemptuous actions.


Gisesa has formally implored the court to mandate the arrest of the aforementioned individuals and subsequently incarcerate them for a duration determined by the court.

The basis of this legal action is the alleged defiance by the Governor and County Secretary of a court ruling issued on February 15, 2024.

The ruling conclusively affirmed that Keroka Town falls under the jurisdiction of Nyamira County, thereby prohibiting Kisii County officials from collecting revenue in the designated area.

“Despite the court delivering a judgement on February 15 2024, compelling each county to operate within its territories, the officers of Kisii County Government continue collecting the revenue along the area belonging to Nyamira County at Keroka Town,” Gisesa stated.

The court ruling explicitly directed the County Government of Kisii to cease the collection of revenues from Keroka Town, emphasizing the imperative for county officials to adhere to their designated jurisdictions.

Regrettably, Nyambega Gisesa, the petitioner, observed that on February 22, the designated officials willfully disregarded the court’s directives and persisted in collecting revenue from traders within the disputed territory.

Furthermore, Gisesa brought to the court’s attention that on March 1, Governor Simba Arati contravened the ruling by distributing umbrellas bearing the inscription ‘Governor Kisii County Simba Arati’ in Keroka Town.

This act constituted yet another violation of the court’s explicit orders and added to the alleged contemptuous conduct displayed by the Governor and other county officials involved.

“The actions of the Governor Paul Simba Arati were interpreted to mean that he was still claiming that the aforementioned area was within Kisii County territory as later he redeployed the Kisii County Government enforcement officers to the area belonging to Nyamira County,” the MCA added.

On Sunday, March 3, it has been reported that Governor Simba Arati redeployed enforcement officers to Keroka Town. These officers, according to accounts, disrupted business activities and obstructed officials from Nyamira County in their revenue collection efforts.

In the midst of this enforcement action, a trader in the contested town disclosed that he, along with others, experienced the burden of double taxation from both counties.

The trader, a shoe-shiner, expressed astonishment upon witnessing officials collecting market cess despite the prior court ruling.

Reportedly, he was subjected to harassment and compelled to remit Ksh50 to the Kisii County officials. Subsequently, he was coerced to pay an identical amount to officials representing Nyamira County, highlighting the challenging circumstances faced by traders due to the ongoing jurisdictional dispute.

“On March 3 2024, the peace in the town was disrupted, when the enforcement officers from Kisii County came and occupied the disputed area, locking out the Revenue collection officers from Nyamira County,” the trader explianed.

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Governor Simba Arati Risks Imprisonment in Territory Dispute



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