A debate on what is largely a case of self interest and unnecessary political grandstanding is once again looming large and if not nipped in the bud is likely to derail the quest for a new Constitution
The row that involves the criteria of redrawing constituency boundaries has split our honourable Members of Parliament down the middle.
The debate pits those agitating for the democratic principal of one-man-one-vote against those demanding one-kilometre-one vote, with both camps threatening to shoot down the new Constitution if their opinion don’t take the day.
MPs for one-man-one-vote principle, mainly from the populous Mount Kenya region are pushing the principle in expectation that their areas will be split and probably reduce pressure from their political rivals.
More constituencies will also translate into more MPs and an upper hand in Parliament in the event that the Draft Constitution proposes a hybrid system of government where the party with majority of seats would appoint the Prime Minister.
Those from vast regions but with less population on the other hand insist that population density patterns cannot be the sole barometer to decide boundaries. They are laying claim to more constituencies on the basis that they represent too a large areas. The Constituency Development Fund allocated to them some claim does not sufficiently serve their areas.
I do agree that the vast and remote nature of constituencies mainly in ASAL areas must be addressed. I also agree with the guys from Mount Kenya that the number of voters should be a key determinant when fixing the boundaries.
I’m not in any way trying to vilify the input of either of the two camps in this debate, but I have an issue with their approach. Taking such extreme positions on an issue that can easily be resolved by a kindergarten kid is surely not the way to go.
Its not rocket science that a solution to this issue will require a balance between the one-man-one-vote and one kilometre one vote principles. Honestly none of the two opinions is more important than the other. Logically leaders need an average number to represent to perform. Leaders also need considerable areas to cover especially in this era of CDF.
I wonder why our politicians remain so narrow minded to only see what suits them and vilify what they think benefits those not from their tribal regions.
Why continue polarising the country rather than focus on finding that middle ground?
Where is the leadership when politicians stand on rooftops and declare that we will not have a constitution if their interests are not accommodated in full?