The 2019 population and housing census may provide a final solution to the status of Nyahururu town, Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) boss Mr. Wafula Chebukati has said.
Speaking after paying a courtesy call on His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia in Ol’Kalou, Mr. Chebukati said boundaries review may only happen once the nation’s current population has been established.
“We shall look at the figures after the census but for now, we shall work with the existing 290 constituencies,” Mr. Chebukati said.
The IEBC has the power and mandate to review constituency and ward boundaries.
The Department of Interior, Senate and Intergovernmental Technical Relations Committee have been keen to resolve persistent inter-County boundary disputes.
Governor Kimemia said frank discussions between Nyandarua and neighbouring Laikipia County will be key to a peaceful determination of Nyahururu’s status.
Both have laid claim to the town.
“We hold the view that such a discussion and closure would return the town and its investments to Nyandarua County. Our people built it. Some of our offices and County Government staff members are still there,” he said.
The town raises an estimated Kshs. 600 million in revenue each financial year.
According to the 2009 population and housing census, Nyandarua had a total of 596,268 persons, 292,155 of whom were males and 304,113 female.
Today, Governor Kimemia said careful review at the time should have put the figure at one million.
“The census affects not only our planning for development, but also disbursement of resources, including those meant to lift us out of marginalization,” he said.
Referring to the stalemate over nomination of people living with disabilities to the County Assembly of Nyandarua, the County head challenged the IEBC to enforce nomination regulations, so that party indiscipline does not contribute to instability at any level of Government.
“We are now at the point of exploring options, including alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, to put the matter behind us,” he said.
Governor Kimemia also noted that the electoral body may have to split Kinangop Constituency into two, owing to the area’s growing population.
Following the meeting, the IEBC will acquire land in Ol’Kalou to house its office operations and a warehouse.
The IEBC will also carry out civic education and public participation on issues under its mandate, in addition to supporting elections within Nyandarua’s vibrant co-operative movement and institutions of learning.