CENSUS STANDOFF

Kuria East constituency will not be scrapped — MP Kitayama

Has a population of 96,872 people according to the 2019 census data, IEBC is expected to set its quota at minimum 114,889.

In Summary

• Kitayama and Nominated MP Dennitah Ghati said the constituency has enough people to surpass the set constitutional threshold. 

•  The MP believes there is a problem with the data. 

Kuria East MP Marwa Kitayama
Kuria East MP Marwa Kitayama
Image: FILE

Kuria East constituency will not be scrapped for failing to meet its population quota according to the 2019 census data, area MP Marwa Kitayama has said.

Kitayama and Nominated MP Dennitah Ghati said the constituency has enough people to surpass the set constitutional threshold. 

The two spoke on Friday during the funeral of Bishop Robert Mahiri, father of Lillian Mahiri, a member of Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority. 

Kuria East has a population of 96,872 people according to the 2019 census data. It is the least populous out of eight constituencies in Migori county. 

“We believe there is a problem with the data, we are sure that the constituency in Kuria East will remain intact,” Kitayama said.

Kuria East constituency has five wards; Ntimaru East, Ntimaru West, Nyabasi East, Nyabasi West and Gokeharaka/Gitambwega wards.

“While politically we have Gokeharaka/Gitambwega ward, administratively it was counted in Kuria West constituency. We have close to 30,000 people to add,” Ghati said.

Rahab Robi, former nominated MCA, said any attempt by the electoral commission to scrap off the constituency will be met by resistance.

Robi vied for and lost the Kuria East constituency in last polls. 

In the new population quota, calculated by dividing the total national population of 47.6 million people by the 290 constituencies, each constituency should have at least 164,137 people.

The Constitution provides that the number of inhabitants of a constituency or ward may be greater or lesser than the population quota by a margin of not more than 40 per cent for cities and sparsely populated areas and 30 per cent for other areas.

This means that with the population quota at 164,137, the lowest populated constituency would be allowed to have at least 114,889 people while the highest populated will have 213,378 people.

According to law, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will hold a boundaries review before 2022. 

“We will join other leaders across the country to ensure no constituency is scrapped for those affected by marginalisation. Any attempt to do this will marginalise some regions more,” Kitayama said.

Ghati said they will join other leaders across to have the census scrutinised “because as the Kuria community we can’t only add 10,000 people in ten years.”