IEBC accused of trying to rewrite history in boundaries review
Posted Saturday, June 16 2012 at 20:33
The electoral commission has been accused of gerrymandering constituency boundaries to benefit certain people interested in vying for political seats in Kilifi county.
Judges hearing the electoral boundaries disputes were told that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission also ignored the proposals of the people when it published a revised report on the new boundaries.
While making submissions on behalf of the aggrieved voters in Malindi constituency, Mr Anthony Mrima said:
“There was a proposal to use River Sabaki as the natural boundary but the IEBC ignored the views it had captured from people, hence short changing them.”
Mr Mrima told the five-judge Bench Justices Mohammed Warsame, Ruth Sitati, Hellen Omondi, Pauline Nyamweya and David Majanja that the commission had created a rural constituency, Kilifi South, which he alleged was “meant to benefit some people.”
Mr Mrima said history would have to be rewritten if the revised report is passed because a historical site such as the Gede ruins, which was in Malindi, now appears in Kilifi.
Other representatives from Msambweni, Lamu, Changamwe, Jomvu, Ganze and Kilifi presented their petitions.
But the IEBC said it was not obliged to explain how it arrived at the new boundaries that are being challenged in court.
While replying to the petitioners during the hearings in Mombasa, Mr Kassim Shah said the commission was mandated to publish a revised report indicating the new boundaries and did not violate the Constitution.
Mr Shah said the commission considered all the proposals and therefore captured the views of the voters in its report, contrary to arguments by the petitioners.
He added that the dissatisfaction by some communities that they would be forced to live with others owing to the creation of the new areas was inappropriate, since these communities had to learn to live in harmony.
His colleague Paul Nyamodi dismissed some petitioners’ allegations that the commission violated human rights violations.
“There is no evidence to prove any human rights violations and many petitioners do not know what is required,” he said.