Judge slaps further ban on constituencies

November 19, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Nov 19 – High Court judge Justice Jeanne Gacheche has issued yet another order barring the gazettment of 80 new constituencies, after 11 MPs moved to court claiming bias by the boundaries review commission.

Among the lawmakers who have filed the case are assistant ministers David Musila, Peter Kenneth, Mwangi Kiunjuri, Ferdinand Waititu, Cecile Mbarire; MPs Ephraim Maina, and Johnson Muthama.

They claim that unless the court intervenes and blocks the publication of the new constituency boundaries, the security and liberty of many Kenyans will be jeopardised leading to an unfavourable political climate.

“The demarcation undertaken by IIBRC has raised the political temperature so much that the muddled up and the total disregard of the social, cohesion and political recovery the Kenyan society is undergoing following the 2007 post election violence is at risk of being reversed,” they said.

On Tuesday Justice Gacheche granted a similar order after Nairobi businessman Joseph Kimanthi raised complaints on the credibility of the commission’s report on the basis that three of the commissioners were not qualified to hold the offices.

The latest order will be in force until the 25th of this month when the matter comes up before the court for hearing.

The MPs have also added voice to Mr Kimanthi’s complaints and said that the chairman of the Commission Andrew Ligale and two of his commissioners ought to have resigned after the new constitution came into force with new provisions which disqualifies him from holding the office since he was MP for Vihiga between 2002 and 2007.

“Hon Ligale has continued to participate in the activities of IIBRC in contravention of the Constitution,” Mr Maina said.

Elsewhere in Parliament, MPs Mohammed Affey and Peter Killu have said they will block a censure Motion against the Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura.

They said if indeed Mr Muthaura blocked publication of the gazette notice, then he acted properly since the gazettment would have created acrimony.

“If they bring that censure Motion here, they can be assured we shall confront it with equal force. We gave the commission a responsibility to do, you failed, instead of going to your farms you continue harassing Kenyans in the courts of law,” Mr Affey said.

Mr Affey claimed a huge section of Kenyans were unhappy with the criteria used by the Ligale led commission which he said did not follow the procedures of geographical coverage and population density as was expected.

He said the commission was biased in its distribution, a motive likely to create deep divisions in future.

He appealed to President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to disband the commission or give direction to the way forward.

He suggested that proper consultations with Parliament were critical to ensure the new constituencies do not become causes of political rifts likely to setback on the country’s commitment to achieve peace.



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