STARTING NEXT MONTH

IEBC has no money to review boundaries – Chebukati

The IEBC must review the boundaries between March 2020 and July 2021

In Summary
  • The exiting boundaries were gazetted on March 7, 2012.
  • The boundaries review won't affect the number of constituencies.
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati in a past event. /FILE
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati in a past event. /FILE

The electoral agency does not have the money to review boundaries next month.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said it is prepared for the exercise, but the National Treasury is yet to avail the money to begin the process.

In a statement, IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati said they want to conclude the review by July 2021 as provided for in the Constitution.

He said the existing boundaries that were gazetted on March 7, 2012, are due for a review in March.

But for the changes to take effect in the next general election, the IEBC is required by law to conclude the review process at least 12 months before the 2022 polls -July 2021.

According to the IEBC, the boundaries review process must start next month if it is to be completed by July next year, well in time for the 2022 polls.

The commission has a boundaries review operations plan (BROP), which provides a road-map for the rigorous exercise.

“The commission has initiated capacity building for its staff, procurement of requisite tools and conduct of a pilot boundaries review,” Chebukati said.

 

“However, these processes have been hampered by inadequate budgetary allocation.”

Chebukati said the IEBC is ready to roll out the BROP, boundaries review framework, “subject to availability of budget and the 2019 census data.”

The chairman said the commission requested the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) for detailed statistics on the national population before starting the review.

The 2019 Kenya National Population and Housing Census data is a key ingredient in the boundaries review process.

KNBS is yet to formally publish the results of the 2019 census released by President Uhuru Kenyatta in November 2019.

The Constitution, additionally, provides for other parameters to be applied in the review such as geographical features and urban centres, the community of interest, historical, economic, cultural ties and means of communication.

The Constitution obliges IEBC to review the names and boundaries of constituencies at intervals of not less than eight years, and not more than 12 years.

Further, the commission is mandated to review the number, names, and boundaries of wards periodically.

However, any review shall be completed at least 12 months before a general election for members of Parliament.

The IEBC can review the number, names, and boundaries of wards but cannot add or scrap any constituency from the existing 290.

It also cannot alter the boundaries of counties unless the Constitution is amended.