IEBC ignored locals in review, judges told
Posted Tuesday, June 12 2012 at 21:14
The electoral team has been accused of favouring some communities and politicians while drawing the new constituency and ward boundaries in Western Province.
A five-judge bench sitting in Kakamega was yesterday told that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed to consult residents during the review.
Lawyers representing the residents told Judges David Majanja, Hellen Omondi, Mohammed Warsame, Ruth Sitati and Pauline Nyamweya that the IEBC resorted to gerrymandering during the delimitation process.
Lawyer Stephen Mwenesi said the IEBC had gone ahead to move two wards in Sabatia constituency to Luanda even after the residents and leaders writing to them to oppose the move.
“The decision to delimit the two wards, Vyalo and Wanondi, with a population of 5,900 to Luanda constituency was a clear pointer of gerrymandering by the IEBC,” Mr Mwenesi told the judges.
He said there was no proposal from Emuhaya MP Wilbur Otichilo or his constituents in support of the idea.
“If you look at the pleadings, there is nowhere the people of Chavakali Location in Sabatia constituency were consulted before they were moved to Luanda.
“The question we are asking is for whose benefit was the gerrymandering being done?” he added. The commission was accused of ignoring the history and traditions of the communities.
A lawyer representing residents of Mt Elgon said the decision to create two new wards in the region was a reward to Sabaot Land Defence Force militia that come up with the proposal.
A similar complaint came up in Lurambi constituency where Butsotso North Location inhabited by the Batsotso has been hived off to Navakholo constituency.