The Court of Appeal judgment on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) on Friday dealt a major blow to the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill where 27 constituencies now face dissolution.
Under the BBI, the creation of new constituencies was poised to be the solution for meeting the gender quota and the representation of youth and people with disabilities.
It would see counties whose population to elected leaders exceeds 132,138 people per MP receive additional constituencies.
Additional constituencies to counties under the BBI proposal.
The process was halted by the Independent and Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) while awaiting the case outcome.
IEBC is now expected to resume its review of the boundaries of the constituencies and wards to ensure that the population in each of them meets the population quota.
The population quota per the 2020 Census has risen from 133, 000 to 164, 000.
The constituencies in Mount Kenya region that did not meet the population threshold during the last border review in 2012 were Othaya, Ndaragwa, Tetu, Mukurweini, Kangema and Mathioya.
Those that failed to meet the quota in the coastal region were Lamu East, Lamu West, Mvita, Mwatate, Wundanyi, Voi, Bura and Galole.
The other affected constituencies are Samburu East, Marakwet East, Keiyo North, Mogotio in the Rift Valley, and Vihiga and Budalang’i in Western as well as Laisamis, Isiolo South, Kilome, North Horr, Saku, and Mbeere North.
The constituencies have been earmarked to either be scrapped or merged because they have a smaller population than required by the constitution.
The Constitution gives IEBC the power to review boundaries at an 8-to-12-year interval. However, the review should be completed at least 12 months prior to the General Election. It can also change the number of wards from the current 1,450.
Various political leaders had their views on what it means and what effect it would have on them.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui stated it was regrettable that the region lacked the chance to have more representation and funds that would have helped to ensure more development projects.
“We didn’t expect this, but we respect the court and the rule of law. Kenyans have lost a great deal. How will we explain to our learners why they get Sh4,000 bursaries while others get Sh100,000,” the governor stated.
A nominated MCA in West Pokot, Elijah Kasheusheu, stated that the county lost the extra constituency along with the 35 percent allocation.
“We have to stand with President Uhuru Kenyatta. Our party leader Senator Gideon Moi will also give us direction on 2022 politics,” he stated.
“I accept the decision of the court, but I still maintain that the proposed constitutional amendments would have been beneficial to Nakuru residents. We would have got more funds for bursaries and development,” Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri mentioned, he was among the 235 MPs who supported the Bill in Parliament.