FACT CHECK

FALSE: Mt Kenya will not get 40 of the 70 constituencies in proposed constitutional changes

In Summary
  • Counties that will get extra lawmakers in the Mt Kenya region include Kiambu (6), Nakuru (5), Meru (2), Embu (1), Kirinyaga (1), Murang’a (1) and Laikipia (1)
  • The remaining 53 seats will be distributed among 20 counties

A Facebook post claiming that the Mt Kenya region will get 40 parliamentary seats out of the 70 proposed constituencies in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is FALSE.

The post adds that the remaining 30 seats will be shared among the Rift Valley, Nyanza, Western, North Eastern, Coast and Eastern regions.

“Out of the 70 Constituencies that BBI proposes, 40 goes to Mt Kenya region while 30 is shared [sic] between Rift Valley, Nyanza, Western, North Eastern, Coast and Eastern. Should we really support it?” the post reads.

The Building Bridges Initiative is sponsored by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader, Raila Odinga, and was announced in March 2018. The BBI followed an agreement popularly referred to as the handshake, and aims to end the cycle of violence associated with each election and the disharmony between the ruling and opposition parties in the country.

A taskforce was formed to address nine issues, among them ethnic tensions, corruption and devolution. In October 2020, the taskforce presented their findings at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi.

Some of the major proposals presented in the report were the introduction of the position of a prime minister and the allocation of a bigger development budget to counties as well as making the cabinet more representative of the nation and intensifying the fight against corruption.

If the BBI is passed, there will be 70 more National Assembly seats in addition to the current 290 seats. The 70 members of parliament will be selected from densely populated constituencies.

A breakdown done by the BBI steering committee explains that 27 counties will get extra legislators. The BBI campaign steering team says it chose the counties because their current population exceeds the average of 133,138 people per constituency guideline set by the 2010 report of the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission (IEBC).

A list showing how the 70 additional legislative seats will be shared among the counties indicates the Mt Kenya region will get 17 seats.

There are 10 counties which make up the Mt Kenya region, namely; Laikipia, Nyeri, Murang’a, Nyandarua, Tharaka Nithi, Nakuru, Kirinyaga, Meru, Embu and Kiambu. Out of these, seven made it to the list of 27 counties that will get additional lawmakers. The counties that will get extra lawmakers in the Mt Kenya region include Kiambu (6), Nakuru (5), Meru (2), Embu (1), Kirinyaga (1), Murang’a (1) and Laikipia (1).

The remaining 53 seats will be distributed among 20 counties, namely Mombasa (3), Kwale (2), Kilifi (4), Mandera (1), Machakos (3), Makueni (1), Turkana (1), Trans Nzoia (2), Uasin Gishu (2), Narok (3), Kajiado (3), Kericho (1), Bomet (1), Kakamega (2), Bungoma (3), Siaya (1), Kisumu (2), Homa Bay (1), Nyamira (1) and Nairobi (16).

PesaCheck has looked into a Facebook post claiming that the Mt Kenya region will get 40 parliamentary seats out of the 70 proposed constituencies in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and finds it to be FALSE.

This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.