The Service Party (TSP) Leader Mwangi Kiunjuri appeared before the Justice and Legal Affair committee for the second time, to expound on his proposed Amendment to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill of 2023, that seeks to amend sections of the IEBC Act.
Key among the proposals that the Amendment Bill seeks to change, is the parameters used in the delimitation of boundaries. In His Amendment Bill, Kiunjuri is proposing that population be the primary parameter during the delimitation of boundaries by IEBC, a move he says will cure disparities in resources distribution…
‘’we must come up with a formula of even setting constituencies in Kenya, for example look at Nairobi, it has 18 constituencies. Nairobi cannot expand, but its population is expanding. How are we going to deal with that in future if we want to deal with equality of the vote? The weight of the vote. TJ Kajwang with 150 voters and a population of more that 500 thousand people, his weight of vote cannot be the same as that of Mwangi Kiunjuri with 40 thousand voters and a population of about 200 thousand people.’’ Kiunjuri said
In his argument, Kiunjuri who is doubles up as Laikipia East Member of the National Assembly says that these inequalities put some constituencies at a loss, especially when constituencies become the locus of government resource allocation and opportunities.
‘’what we are saying, let us have this framework, so that for example in Nyeri county, we can align the constituencies in a manner that we will not have some constituencies with the same county having huge population yet all other parameters e.g. communication, geographical etc are the same.’’ Kiunjuri said
Kiunjuri allayed fears that the 27 protected constituencies will not be affected, as the amendment does not seek to alter the constitution, but rather alter the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission mode of boundaries delimitation.
Kagucia – We may want to do delimitation within a county so that we have equal opportunities, but if the population within the county falls under the set quota, does it mean the county end up losing a constituency. Then what would be our stand for the 27 constituencies protected who didn’t meet the threshold.
‘’ If we can make the IEBC Act responsive to these critical elements of representation, – equal weight of the vote and fair representation, we shall have served Kenyans and Kenya’s electoral democracy well.’’ Kiunjuri said
The fate of the Bill now lies with the JLAC, as it retreats to draft its report of recommendations to either allow the Bill to face the whole house on the plenary.