, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 7 – The process of redefining Kenya’s political and administrative boundaries starts in earnest in September with public hearings across the country.
The Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission (IIBRC) on Friday said that it would start off with a three-day consultative stakeholders’ conference in Nairobi before heading to the grassroots.
Chairman Andrew Ligale said the team would then tour all provincial headquarters after which the hearings will be rolled out at the local levels.
“You will be seeing us out there, talking to Kenyans and explaining our mandate but more importantly getting their views,” the Chairman told journalists at a press conference to launch the commission’s website and logo.
Mr Ligale emphasised that Kenyans should seize the opportunity to say how they would want their boundaries fixed.
“We do not want to limit this to the usual few activists but to all Kenyans,” he said.
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 from 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.
“We will consult Kenyans and the way they say we go then that is what we shall recommend. We will put that under law so that somebody does not just wake up and creates districts as it pleases them,” he said.
The team is working closely with the Interim Independent Electoral Commission and the Committee of Experts on Constitution in its work.
Meanwhile Mr Ligale said 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.
Mr Ligale added that his team had petitioned Treasury increase its allocation of Sh351 million in this year’s budget.