The formation of the Interim Boundaries Review Commission (IBRC) drew closer on Monday with the short listing of 21 candidates for the chairmanship.
A meeting of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the Constitution also proposed a total of 50 people who will be interviewed for the eight commissioners’ slots.
“We intend to conduct interviews on Monday and Tuesday next week and by the end of those two days we hope to have the proposals of nominees for the commission,” PSC chairman Abdikadir Mohammed said.
He said the proposals for the nominees will be presented for consideration by Parliament after the conclusion of interviews.
According to reports among those shortlisted to chair the commission include former National Assembly Speaker Francis Kaparo, former Provincial Commissioner Joseph Kaguthi and former MPs Wanyiri Kihoro, Joseph Kiang’oi and Adams Karauri. Haki Focus Director Harun Ndubi is also in the race. Others are Abdullahi Farah, Beatrice Nduta, Henry Obongi, Kamau Mbugua, Francis Mulu, Kimaiyo Chirama, Caroline Sang and Nzomba Musyoka. Mr Kaparo’s bid to chair the Interim Independent Review Commission flopped earlier in the year. There were unconfirmed reports that he had requested the PSC to exclude his name in the boundaries team but this was dismissed by the committee since he had not written to them formally. Over 1,000 people had applied for the nine posts in the IBRC.
Once constituted, the commission will spearhead the review of both electoral and administrative boundaries in the country and will have an operation mandate of two years. The commission will be expected to review the current constituency boundaries and make proposals for amendment to Parliament. The new constituency boundaries are expected to balance voter representation and size of constituencies.
IBRC is a product of the Independent Review Commission which probed the disputed 2007 presidential election results. The Justice Johann Kriegler chaired commission expressed concern over the unequal representation in the current list of constituencies. The commission will also be expected to comprehensively re-look the boundaries of districts and wards. Among proposals that have been flouted is the conversion of all constituencies to districts to bring services closer to the public. PSC Vice Chair Ababu Namwamba said last week that the commission will be expected to settle the controversial issue of districts.
There are 210 constituencies in the country while the number of districts has risen to 209.
Last year, there was a clash in Mandera between the Garres and Murulle clans over boundary issue and this needs to be sorted once and for all.