Boundaries ruling gets mixed reactions in Coast
The High Court ruling to maintain the 80 constituencies set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has received mixed reaction in Coast province. A section of the leadership praised the court for retaining some of the wards. Others warned that the decision could affect the voter registration in the areas where the locals feel their concerned have not been addressed.
Fisheries minister Amason Jefwa Kingi said those who had moved to court complaining of the new boundaries are not happy and may not register for the elections. Kingi said the court could may have come up with the ruling to allow IEBC to register voters. He asked the authorities to consider a review of the boundaries after the elections next year.
Kingi, who is the Magarini MP, said the boundaries for his constituency were extended across the Sabaki Bridge and the MP shall have to cross to Chakama, which is a long distance. “The ruling did not meet the concerns of the locals and this could have an effect during the voter registration. People are dissatisfied with the ruling and may not participate in the voter registration exercise," he said.
However, a civic leader praised the court ruling that Miritini and Changamwe remain in their original wards. Jomvu parliamentary hopeful Badi Twalib said the five-bench judge took into consideration the wishes of the community. “We are very happy that the court listened to our wishes. The Independent Electoral and boundaries Commission did not listen to the voice of the people. We welcome this move and now we know that there are reforms in the judiciary,” he said.
He observed that if Miritini remains in Jomvu it will benefit from the local and political administration. Badi also pointed out that it was wise for Changamwe to remain with its identity and its original ward because the Changamwe people could have lost their identity. “The IEBC did not consider originality of people and physical facilities like police stations, schools and hospitals among other things,” he said.
Badi, who is also a Jomvu Kuu councilor, said that IEBC did not also consider the population. Another Civic leader Mohamed Aziz from Malindi said also hailed the Court for dismissing the majority of cases filed by Kenyans challenging the new boundaries set by IEBC. Aziz said Malindi being a cosmopolitan town deserved to be divided so that the public were served well. The Ruling was made on Monday by a five judge bench at the Milimani law courts in Nairobi.