A voter has drafted a Bill seeking the removal of 27 constituencies in the four Nyanza counties from the Republic of Kenya, while creating a new county called Kuria.
Dr Washington Makodingo, a public policy expert who has in the past leaned towards the ruling Jubilee administration, argues that the four counties of Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori had been agitating to be excluded from the territory of Kenya.
The Bill further proposes the retention of Kuria West and Kuria East in the current Migori County, to form part of the new county to be created called Kuria, and the movement of the North West ward in Kisumu West Constituency to Vihiga County.
Dr Makodingo argues that the four counties had heeded calls by their leaders to boycott and disrupt the repeat presidential election in most of the constituencies on October 26, and, as a result, did not vote.
“The residents of these constituencies have continuously expressed their wish to be excluded from the territory of Kenya. The objective of this Bill is therefore to amend the Constitution to grant these residents their wish by excluding them from the territory of the Republic of Kenya,” Dr Makodingo argued in the draft Bill to be presented to Parliament.
The draft Bill emerged Tuesday, just a day after Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma presented a Bill to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) seeking the secession of all but seven of Kenya’s 47 counties to form the People’s Republic of Kenya.
Apart from Central Kenya counties of Nyeri, Murang’a, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Embu, and Tharaka Nithi, Mr Kaluma wants all the other 40 to break away from the united Kenya, alleging that they have been continually discriminated against by successive governments.
Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia, a former powerful secretary to the Cabinet and Internal Security permanent secretary, has opposed the secession talk, urging other governors to reject any move that would divide the country or result to chaos.
“The state of Kenya has remained robust and stable. We have gone into the second generation of devolution and we cannot celebrate this by destroying our country. As governors, we will be judged very harshly by history if we allow selfish people to destroy this country,” said Mr Kimemia after his executive committee members were sworn into office on Tuesday.
In the Bill by Dr Makodingo, the Jubilee-leaning policy expert, seeks to have an amendment of the Constitution to have the National Assembly be composed of 263 MPs from constituencies, 44 women selected from the counties, and 12 nominated members.
The Senate membership, he argues, should be amended to have 44 senators elected from each of the counties, 16 nominated women, two representing the youth, and two others representing persons with disability.
“Every person who was a citizen immediately before the effective date retains the same citizenship status as of that date except for citizens who, within ninety days of the effective date, choose to renounce their citizenship owing to their former counties no longer being within the territory of Kenya,” the Bill by Dr Makodingo states.
The Bill can be passed either through a parliamentary initiative, where two-thirds of each House support it, or through the popular initiative of collecting one million signatures, presenting the Bill to the 47 county assemblies of which 24 of them must ratify it, and then presenting it before Parliament.
And if any of the two Houses fail to pass it, the Bill will be subjected to a referendum where a simple majority will take the day.
Additional reporting by Waikwa Maina