Ligale mandate expires amid storm

November 27, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 27 – The Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission closed shop on Saturday with the expiry of its mandate but its work remained in limbo after the High Court permanently barred the team from gazetting 80 new Constituencies.

Despite the court ruling, the IIBRC chairman Andrew Ligale late on Friday presented the report of the commission to the parliamentary committee on Legal Affairs and sent a similar copy to the Government Printer.

"We thought it advisable to hand over our report to the committee which has an oversight function on our mandate so that through them it can go to the National Assembly for deliberations," said Mr Ligale while handing over the report.

The Legal Affairs committee chairman Ababu Namwamba received the report.

"This we are doing in accordance with article 254 of the Constitution which provides for every commission to submit a report to the President and the National Assembly," he said.

In his ruling on Friday Justice Daniel Musinga dismissed the work of the commission saying it failed to adhere to the law when deciding the new units which required it to carry out extensive consultations.

"Population data is still incomplete and would not therefore be fully used for delimitation of the electoral units," the judge pointed out.

The judge ruled that the IIBRC did not comply with the law when it failed to include names and details of the constituencies as required, since the population data it ought to have relied on was still incomplete.

The law states that the commission should have considered population density with a variation of geographical size.

The High Court had initially barred the gazettement of the new units last week after businessman John Kimathi filed a case claiming that the discriminated against some constituencies with high population.

The boundaries row has split politicians in the middle with one group supporting the gazettment of the new constituencies while another has vehemently opposed it, vowing to go to all lengths to block the publication.

The dispute is blamed for the delay in approving nominees to the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and the Commission on Revenue Allocation on Thursday by Parliament.

A Cabinet committee met Mr Ligale on Wednesday and urged him to review the list to accommodate the raging dissent.

The IIBRC was established two years ago to spearhead the review of the country\’s boundaries after indications by the Kriegler Commission that unequal representations could have been one of the causes of the 2008 post election violence.

The yet to be formed Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will take over the mandate of the IIBRC.


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