Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni has called on Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to reconsider the population threshold requirement in its boundary review and allow rural constituencies to remain.
Kioni, who spoke in Shamata during the launch of Aberdare Sub County on Tuesday said IEBC had no business revoking or merging Ndaragwa and Ol Jororok constituencies that now have two administrative units each.
“Ndaragwa is a protected constituency in the constitution as its population falls below the threshold and it is rumoured that it should be merged with Ol Jororok constituency.
“We cannot just revoke a constituency that now has two DCCs. We are firm, we want to grow and get our numbers right because our people were counted into Laikipia County and Kipipiri constituency, not to mention that Nyahururu was taken away from us,” defended Kioni.
While rebuking a section of leaders he accused of financing a demonstration against the installation of the new administrative unit, Kioni said the Constituency was vast and there was need to subdivide it for eased service delivery.
A section of Mairo Inya residents in Kiriita ward, yesterday took to the streets to protest the selection of Shamata town as headquarter for the new sub County, saying it was not centrally placed.
Ndaragwa’s population stands at 98,698 according to the 2019 Census, a population that IEBC considers way below the population quota of 164,000 and 114,800 for rural constituencies. Ol Jororok and Kipipiri Constituencies too risk being restructured with the leaders rethinking ways of offloading Kinangop and Ol Kalau constituencies to save the three.
His Ol Jororok Counterpart, Michael Muchira also defended the boundaries noting that the county had suffered historical injustices and there was need to protect
Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia, who has since refuted the 2019 Census report that estimated the county’s population at 638, 000 urged the IEBC to retain the constituencies as the census was not accurate.
The leaders spoke in Shamata stadium in Ndaragwa and Ngano in Ol Jororok constituencies on Tuesday, during the installation of the new Aberdare and Gathanji sub counties.
By Anne Sabuni