Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati, has termed the proposal to allocate 70 additional constituencies to 28 counties as unconstitutional.
Appearing before the joint Justice and Legal Affairs Committees of Parliament on the BBI Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020, on Wednesday, February 17, Chebukati said that while it was right to create the constituencies, they were wrong in allocating the constituencies to specific counties.
Chebukati said that the issues of boundaries were under the jurisdiction of IEBC, as outlined in Articles 84 (4c) and 89 of the Constitution.
“It is in order for Parliament or through a referendum to create additional constituencies, but the work of allocating them is work of IEBC, ” Chebukati said.
IEBC further stated that they had not been consulted despite the fact that they handled all validations.
He further quoted the IEBC population report stating that they had consulted the relevant organs that would help them come to a conclusion.
“Volume four, which has distributed population by socio-economic statistics, we consulted all the organs that are in it. The disability team, the agriculture team, and the labour team were all consulted before we could produce the volume,” he justified.
The BBI Bill proposes an additional 70 MP seats that are meant to address under-representation in heavily populated counties.
The new constituencies will largely benefit Rift Valley, Nairobi, Central and Coast counties as recommended by the Bill.
The IEBC chairman further accused the said promoters of the BBI of only discussing how to eradicate post-poll violence.
The proceedings also brought to light the conflict between IEBC and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics that had frustrated the tabulation of electoral population data barely 16 months to the 2022 General Elections.
KNBS accused the electoral agency of frustrating the process of validation.