NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 26 – President Mwai Kibaki has urged the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission to come up with a viable number of constituencies that can be sustained by the country’s economy and ensure adequate representation.
President Kibaki emphasised the need for Kenyans to be fully involved in the process so as to have the optimum number of constituencies which can be sustained by the available resources in the country.
“You should work towards ensuring that we have the right number of constituencies that are not only sustainable but also ensure that wananchi are adequately represented in Parliament,” President Kibaki said.
The President made the remarks on Wednesday at his Harambee House Office where he and Prime Minister Raila Odinga held a consultative meeting with members of the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission.
President Kibaki advised the commissioners to take into account the country’s need to provide essential services to wananchi including education and health when they embark on the exercise of reviewing the country’s constituency, civic and administrative boundaries.
The Head of State reassured the commissioners of the government’s support in their work, to ensure they successfully completed their work.
Speaking during the meeting, the Prime Minister said the commissioners should work towards ensuring that the recommendations on new boundaries reflect national instead of sectarian interests.
The Prime Minister added that the commissioners’ work should also address the problem of funding in local authorities by recommending the right number of civic bodies that the country can support.
The Prime Minister asked the commission to work hard to accomplish their work within the stipulated time so as to save the country extra expenses.
The Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission Chairman Andrew Ligale, who was accompanied by other members of the commission, assured the President and the Prime Minister that the commission was ready to start provincial tours to seek wananchi’s views on boundaries.
Mr Ligale said the commission had finished preparation of the concept paper and put in place a work plan that will guide the commissioners’ activities.
Other speakers at the meeting included Internal Security Minister Prof. George Saitoti and his Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs counterpart Mutula Kilonzo.