Plans to scrap 27 constituencies discriminatory, Bura MP

A plan to scrap 27 constituencies in the forthcoming boundary review is discriminatory and is meant to deny minority groups right to representation.

The Bura MP, Ali Wario said that representation is not only about numbers but it is also meant to take care of the minority groups in Kenya who cannot meet the population threshold.

Speaking during a pubic Baraza in Madogo on Sunday, Wario said that Bura constituency that is among likely to be scraped is in the list of 290 constituencies that were created by law and no one can take away from the people of Bura.

Wario said that Bura may not have the numbers required for a constituency but because it is home to more than 10 minority tribes, it cannot be scrapped. As elected leaders from the area, we shall use all means including the courts and the constitution to ensure Bura is retained even if it does not meet the population threshold set by the Constitution.

The Galole MP, Said Hiribae speaking recently in Bura Town vowed that his constituency and Bura will not be merged ‘come rain come sunshine’.

Hiribae urged area residents who are over 18 and have acquired ID cards to register as voters to ensure that come the boundary review, they will have met the population threshold.

The Kenya Bureau of Statistics is expected to conduct nationwide census in 2019 and afterwards, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will realign the borders of Kenya’s constituencies. The law requires such a process to be conducted a year before the General Election. This is the second review since 2010 by the Andrew Ligale-led boundary review commission.

The Constitution caps the number of constituencies at 290, but the IEBC can review to either alter the name or boundaries of the existing constituencies. The constituencies were protected during the last boundary review, a caveat that will not apply in next year’s exercise.

Lamu East, Lamu West, Mvita, Mwatate, Wundanyi, Voi, Bura, Galole, Isiolo South, Kilome, Laisamis, North Horr, Saku, Siakago (now Mbeere North), Ndaragwa, Tetu, Murkurweini, Othaya and Kangema are some of the constituencies that risk losing their status for not meeting the population quota. Others are Mathioya, Samburu East, Marakwet East, Keiyo North, Mogotio, Vihiga and Budalang’i.

During the last review, the population threshold was set at 133,000 people, a figure that is likely to go up given the expected increase in population.

For a constituency to maintain its status, the population must be greater or less than the quota by either 40 per cent for cities and sparsely populated areas or 30 per cent for other areas.

Source: Kenya News Agency