Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chair Wafula Chebukati has ruled out creation of new constituencies before 2022 elections.
Appearing before the Senate Committee on Justice, Human Rights and Legal Affairs, IEBC’s acting CEO Marjan Marjan said the commission will complete the boundary delimitation by March 2023.
“When you look at the human resources to be used, and the challenges in terms of finance, I don’t see it feasible that we will be able to do boundaries now and use it for the general election,” said Marjan.
The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) had proposed the creation of 70 new constituencies, increasing the number of lawmakers from the current 290 to 360.
As in enshrined in the Constitution in Article 89, the commission shall review boundaries of electoral zones at intervals of not less than eight and not more than 12 years.
The Commission’s Acting Director for Research, Development and Boundaries Catherine Kimondo said IEBC had adopted a contingency plan in which the Survey of Kenya has been roped in to assist in delimitation the 70 zones proposed under the BBI process.
In May, commission’s chair Wafula Chebukati told Citizen TV that delimitation of boundaries will kick off in September and may not be concluded before the general elections slated for August 2022.
“We have barely a year to ensure everything is done before July 2021. This includes a dispute resolution period of the about 4 months. So what the Commission will do is once the situation calms down as far as the pandemic is concerned,” Chebukati stated.
“We shall start the exercise and if we are not done with it, we will stop and focus on the General Election and then we can finish the remaining part thereafter.”
Earlier on Wafula said they would use the official census data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), and the 2019 population and housing census results, to guide the review of electoral boundaries.