Tone down emotions on boundaries, State urges

January 19, 2012 3:10 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 19 – The government has urged Kenyans to exercise restraint while debating the contentious preliminary report on boundaries that was released by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said on Thursday the State had noted with concern the high level of emotions by some leaders during the ongoing discussions on various electoral boundaries.

He said regional politics are already coming out as the major affront to the successful creation of 80 new constituencies envisaged by the new Constitution.

Mutua assured the public that the process had been structured in a way to support the views of all Kenyans and that boundaries would not be imposed.

Countrywide collating of views on the report by the IEBC began on Monday and is expected to end next Thursday before compilation of a draft report for tabling in Parliament.

So far the hearings have been characterised by complaints from Kenyans and politicians alike over the proposal to move them to the neighbouring constituencies terming the move as ‘suspect.’

Others have objected to the hiving off new constituencies from existing ones arguing that the IEBC of ignored constitutional requirements such as geography and community interest among others.

During the launch of the report last week, IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan clarified that the IEBC was mandated to resolve the issues of constituencies falling outside the population quota and thereafter appropriately re-distribute such wards or administrative units in the affected constituencies.

The new boundaries will become effective 30 days after the adoption of the report by Parliament should there be no petition before the House or in court.

Meanwhile, the government has warned public officials that they risk losing their jobs for corrupt practices while serving the citizenry.

Mutua said that the government would immediately dismiss officers found engaging in the vice.

In the same vein, he said people found to be giving bribes to government officials will also be arrested and prosecuted.

Mutua asked Kenyans to remain vigilant pointing out that the future of the country hinges on a transparent environment to allow every citizen, investor or visitor to enjoy the fruits of our country.

He further urged Kenyans to report corrupt officials and people who perpetuate corruption saying the Grand Coalition Government is at war with all levels of corruption.

On Wednesday, the Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ) notified civil servants who have private businesses to relinquish them and close any overseas bank accounts, in accordance with the new Constitution.

The commission’s chairman Otiende Amollo said they would ensure strict compliance with Ethics and Integrity requirements in Chapters Six and 13 of the Constitution.

“We will ensure that State officers conduct themselves with dignity and respect and to promote public confidence,” said Amollo.

Amollo said the commission now had the mandate to conduct investigations, issue summons and require that statements be given under oath. The Commission will also adjudicate on matters relating to administrative justice, among others.

In order to increase the accessibility to the public, the commission also announced plans to relocate and expand its main office in Nairobi and establish branch offices in all the 47 counties.


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