Fury over plan to scrap Budalang’i Constituency - Daily Nation

Leaders vow to block plan to scrap Budalang’i Constituency

Monday September 10 2018

 Budalang’i,

Youth harvest sand in River Nzoia in Budalang’i, Busia County, in January. Area leaders have opposed plan to scrap the constituency in the next boundaries review if it fails to meet the population quota. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GAITANO PESSA
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Budalang’i leaders have vowed to reject plans to scrap the constituency.

Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba allayed fears that Budalang’i constituency might be scrapped in the next boundaries review.

Mr Namwamba, the former for area MP, assured residents that the constituency will still be in existence even after next year’s census by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

The constituency is among 27 others that risk losing their status after next year’s census, which is expected to inform the planned boundaries review by the electoral commission ahead of the 2022 polls.

Mr Namwamba, who was addressing a congregation at St Nicholas Catholic Church in Port Victoria on Sunday, said he had already written to the electoral commission, citing Article 89 of the Constitution that gives direction on formation and dissolution of constituencies.

CULTURAL TIES

Article 89 (6) directs that such a review should take into account geographical features and urban centres, community interests, historical, economic and cultural ties, as well as the means of communication.

“I was part of the team that drafted the Constitution and placed Budalang’i among the 27 others under protected territories to safeguard the interests of our people.

He went on: “Although I don’t have future ambitions of vying for the parliamentary seat, I will endeavour to spearhead the interest of the constituency.”

In a separate interview, area MP Raphael Wanjala opposed plan to scrap some constituencies.

“The review should focus on new constituencies that were created after the new Constitution, not the old ones.

PERENNIAL DISASTERS

“We were given the constituency to help us effectively manage perennial disasters such as floods, address terrain challenges and ease interaction with residents of neighbouring districts, the present day sub-counties and counties,” said Mr Wanjala.

The seven Busia constituencies are almost divided according to the sub-tribes that occupy the border county. The Iteso are dominant in Teso North and Teso South constituencies, the Bakhayo in Matayos and Nambale, Marachi in Butula, Samia in Funyula and Banyala in Budalang’i.

POPULATION FIGURES

“Where will we fit if the constituency is scrapped? Scattering us all over only aims at making the great people of Budalang'i extinct,” said the MP.

He appealed to the Banyala in other parts of the country to return “home” before the census to help define population figures in the region. “I call upon all our brothers and sisters who relate with Budalang’i to return home because this is the time to stand out and be counted,” he said.

The region has about 39,000 registered voters and a population of about 70,000.