The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati has warned that passing the constitutional of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, popularly known as BBI as it is will be unconstitutional.
Speaking before a joint Legal Affairs Committees of both houses of parliament which are conducting public participation on the Bill, Chebukati said BBI can only create additional constituencies but not distribute them.
“The Bill can propose constituencies to be created, but not determine in which county the constituencies are created, that is our mandate as IEBC, and if the Bill is passed as it is, then it will be unconstitutional,” Chebukati warned.
He also revealed to the committee that IEBC was never consulted during the creation of the constituencies and only learned about the same when the BBI bill was made public.
According to Chebukati thus, only IEBC has the legal mandate under the constitution to do delamination o constituencies.
Kivumbi.co.ke understands the BBI bill proposes 70 more constituencies to be distributed among 28 select counties based on population and not physical size.
The move shall increase the total number of constituencies in Kenya to 360 from the current 290, a move which has seen opponents of BBI lament about the increased public wage bill.
Rift Valley, Nairobi, central and Coast are the biggest beneficiaries of the additional constituencies proposed in the constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The larger Rift Valley will get additional 23 new constituencies, Nairobi 12, Central 11 and Coast 10.
Kiambu County will get 6, Nakuru 5, Kilifi 4 while Uasin Gishu, Narok, Kajiado and Bungoma counties will get 3 each.
Other counties; Meru, Bomet, Kakamega are slated to get 2 new constituencies while Mandera, Embu, Makueni, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Turkana, West Pokot, nandi, Laikipia, Siaya and Nyamira have been allocated 1 each.
Chebukati told parliament that the 6 months allocated to IEBC to determine the new constituencies should BBI bill sail through is very unrealistic and not practical.
“Delimitation of boundaries is always very emotive, and allocating six months to finish the process is practically impossible, dispute resolution alone took 4 months last time the process was being undertaken, and we have to consider public participation,” Chebukati told the committee members.