Kenya boundaries review kicks off Monday

October 10, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, October 10 – The Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission (IIBRC) is now asking Kenyans to participate in their provincial sittings that start on Monday, to ensure the final document is representative.

Chairman Andrew Ligale said on Friday that the commission would strive to be transparent in all its public hearings so as to reduce any interference by Parliament on the recommendations made.

"In our own case, there will be no need for a referendum.  Once you make recommendations and they are accepted by Parliament, that will be it and they will become the basis for the next elections in terms of constituencies," he said.

 "As we now go out there in the field, we want to invite you ladies and gentlemen to be partners with us in this job because we believe it is the only way that we can be able to come up with recommendations that can stand the test of time," he stated.

He pointed out that the commission would use legally recognised districts as their point of reference.

"Recently Justice Musinga in Kisii declared that in effect, other than the 46 districts that were created by Parliament in 1992 by an Act of Parliament, all the others that have been declared both by retired president and the current president are illegal."

Mr Ligale said that the IIBRC it would start off with a three-day consultative stakeholders’ conference in Nairobi before heading to the grassroots.

He said that the team would then tour all provincial headquarters after which the hearings will be rolled out at the local levels.

He emphasised that Kenyans should seize the opportunity to say how they would want their boundaries fixed.

The Commissioners were sworn into office in May with a mandate of recommending to Parliament the amendments to constituency, civic and administrative boundaries taking into account the equality of votes and size of regions within 24 months.

There has been uproar in Parliament over the pace of creation of administrative units by the government some of which have created confusion and conflict. Parliamentarians have condemned the haphazard creation of districts at public rallies.

Mr Ligale was however firm that the work of his team would not in any way be affected by continued creation of new administrative units by the Executive.

The team is working closely with the Interim Independent Electoral Commission and the Committee of Experts on Constitution in its work.

Meanwhile Mr Ligale has said that the Commission was seeking an extension of its timeline to help it effectively meet its mandate.

He said that they were holding talks with the various government agencies to help them recover the six months lost between the time their establishment came into force and the time they were sworn into office.


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