Mbeere North legislator Muriuki Njagagua has come up with a plan to stop his constituency from being scrapped: he will give every woman who gives birth Sh2,000 to increase the population.
Speaking during a fundraiser in aid of St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Siakago, the member of parliament (MP) implored the residents to join the fight to save the constituency from being scrapped.
Mr Njagagua said he was ready to use any means at his disposal to save the largely semi-arid constituency in Embu County from being scrapped when the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) reviews boundaries after next year’s census.
Mbeere North is among the 27 constituencies earmarked for scrapping because their populations falls below the set quota of 133,000 persons.
The 2009 census showed that the constituency had a population of 89,035, the lowest in Embu county.
To avoid being scrapped, the constituency needs to have an additional 43,965 people by next year's census.
As the moment, has 51,009 registered voters.
Mr Njagagua also appealed to the residents to make sure they are present during the census to ensure they are counted, and told the people to think seriously about his suggestion.
Notably, in a past interview, Mr Njagagua had expressed optimism that his constituency will have attained 80,000 registered voters by next year’s boundaries review.
He estimated the constituency’s population at the time to be over 100,000, and asserted that it would be wrong to scrap it.
Mr Njagagua said the region is protected because of its expansive size, and is largely inhabited by the Mbeere, who are a minority in the county.
"I believe we are still protected and will fight for that protection as a minority. You cannot just kill minority constituencies. We will fight it tooth and nail,” he said.
Mr Njagagua’s suggestion was supported by Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki, who vowed to block any move to scrap the constituency. He said it should be left since it has its own unique challenges.
“I will fight tooth and nail to save Mbeere North constituency. Even if 100 constituencies are to be scrapped, this one must be spared,” said Prof Kindiki.
The Tharaka-Nithi Senator said it would be wrong to scrap constituencies with unique people or challenges.