NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has made significant changes in its revised electoral boundaries report.
The IEBC has rearranged several wards and placed them in new areas in constituencies such as Makadara, Nyaribari Chache, Rarieda and North Horr.
The electoral team has in some instances completely done away with some of the wards that had been proposed by the now defunct Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission (IIBRC) and even merged existing ones.
For instance, Woodley and Kenyatta-Golf Course wards have been merged as has Parklands and Highridge wards in Nairobi County.
The Commission handed over its report to Parliament’s Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on Thursday.
“We were required to resolve all the issues arising from the first report within four months and the Act (IEBC) specifically requires us to use the IIBRC report and the Justice and Legal Affairs report as the primary and secondary reports respectively,” IEBC chairman Issack Hassan said.
Some of the names of the electoral units have also been changed for instance Baringo East has been renamed Tiaty while Kasipul Kabondo has been renamed Kabondo Kasipul.
Hassan however reminded the public that the new electoral units did not affect the administrative boundaries. He noted that concerns had also been raised during the public hearings with some expressing fears of being displaced from their ancestral region.
“The determination of electoral boundaries does not take or shift land or even people from their location; it only determines where they are going to vote. The other provisions of public service do not change,” he stressed.
The IEBC further revealed that it had received 1,970 memoranda from members of the public on the preliminary report on boundaries that was launched on January 9.
In the revised boundaries report, the IEBC proposes nine extra constituencies for Nairobi County bringing the total to 17.
Embakasi has been split into Embakasi West, East, Central, South and North. Ruaraka, Kilimani, Kibra, Roysambu and Mathare have also been proposed as the new constituencies in Nairobi.
Coast region has five extra constituencies bringing the total to 26. Jomvu, Nyali, Lunga-Lunga, Kilifi North and Kilifi South have been listed as the new constituencies.
Meanwhile, North Eastern has seven new constituencies, including Balambala, Dadaab, Tarbaj, Eldas, Banissa, Lafey and Mandera South. This totals to 18, the number of constituencies in the North Eastern region.
On the other hand, Eastern has eight new constituencies while Central has five, Rift Valley has 27, Western has nine and Nyanza has 10.
Hassan reiterated his calls for restraint among political leaders asking them not to fan public emotions on the touchy issue.
“It has not been possible to grant every wish; even where communities wanted to remain together to cover common interests. It is not possible to curve out pure breed zones. Kenyans must learn to tolerate and accommodate each other,” he urged.