Some constituencies will be scrapped in the next boundaries review should they fail to meet the population threshold set by the Constitution. They include Lamu East, Lamu West, Mvita, Mwatate, Wundanyi, Voi, Bura, Galole, Isiolo South, Kilome, Laisamis, North Horr, Saku, Siakago(now Mbeere North), Ndaragwa, Tetu, Murkurweini, Othaya and Kangema. The population threshold was set at 133,000 people
By The Weekly Vision
President William Ruto appointed a seven-member selection panel to recruit a new board for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in March 2023 but little has been heard of the team since. Amid all the confusion at IEBC, there are calls from several lawmakers seeking to amend the constitution to increase the number of counties from the current 47 to 52 devolved units through a referendum.
Given that the constitution requires the IEBC to change electoral boundaries every eight years and every twelve years, with the 12-year deadline expiring in 2024, all eyes are now on the revision of the boundaries ahead of the 2027 elections. The most recent boundary review was completed on March 7, 2012.
Kenya Kwanza’s top brass is currently scheming on how to ensure that more electoral seats are assigned to regions thought to be their stronghold. According to sources, the IEBC requested Ksh. 7.2 billion from the treasury for boundary delimitation before last year’s elections but withdrew the proposal at the last minute when they decided to conduct the reviews in 2024.
According to sources, targeted for review are Trans Nzoia and Bungoma counties to create another county. Politicians allied to Kenya Kwanza wants the new county created in the region. Another county targeted for split is Migori. It is on record that President William Ruto, during his campaigns last year and as Deputy President promised the Kuria community that they will get their own county.
The Kuria community has traditionally voted against Raila Odinga in the elections, during the last general elections, President Ruto garnered 28,933 against Raila’s 11,970 in Kuria West while in Kuria East, Ruto garnered 16,795 votes against Raila’s 12,031 votes. There is also a plot to have East Pokot County hived off from Baringo and West Pokot Counties and Mwingi carved from Kitui County.
Another county targeted is Marsabit County which sources say will be split to create Moyale County.
The Suba sub-tribe in Homa Bay County is also pushing to have a county. Currently, the community dominates Suba North and Suba South constituencies.
There are proposals to split Kiambu County owing to its size and population. If it is split, it will give a political lifeline to some politicians who are now in political oblivion. It is also suspected that the boundaries review may affect constituencies. 27 constituencies were put on notice during the 2009 boundaries review. They were declared protected and were bound to be scrapped in the next boundaries review should they fail to meet the population threshold set by the Constitution.
The affected constituencies included Lamu East, Lamu West, Mvita, Mwatate, Wundanyi, Voi, Bura, Galole, Isiolo South, Kilome, Laisamis, North Horr, Saku, Siakago(now Mbeere North), Ndaragwa, Tetu, Murkurweini, Othaya and Kangema.
Others are Mathioya, Samburu East, Marakwet East, Keiyo North, Mogotio, Vihiga and Budalang’i.
During the last boundaries review, the population threshold was set at 133,000 people.
Counties which are expected to benefit from the 2024 review in terms of the creation of more constituencies are Kiambu, Nakuru and Kilifi. Others are Mombasa, Kwale, Machakos, Uasin Gishu, Narok, Kajiado and Bungoma.
Others are Meru, Trans Nzoia, Bomet, Kakamega and Kisumu as well as Mandera, Embu, Makueni, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Turkana, West Pokot, Nandi, Laikipia, Kericho Siaya and Nyamira counties.