Members of Wajir South Professional Forum have moved to court seeking to have the IEBC create an extra constituency for Wajir South.
Through its secretary general Omar Ibrahim, they claim the commission did not take into consideration the population and geographical size of the constituency. "A voter in one ward will need to travel about 300 km for counting of the ballot papers at the constituency tallying centre," Ibrahim said.
There are six wards in Wajir South with a total population of 130, 070 namely Benane, Burder, Dadaja Bulla Habaswein, Lagboghoi South and Ibrahim Ure. Omar through Lawyer Henry Kurauka argues that the IEBC considered incorrect population figures which were supplied during the last national census. The residents of Wajir south had moved to Somali in search of food and water and therefore the census results did not affect its correct population he says.
It claims that despite having received public views the Interim independent electoral commission (IIBRC) failed to create an extra constituency and proposed that Wajir south constituency of population 130,070 people and 21.595sqkm (bigger than Nyanza and central provinces) be combined. In the petition, the forum has sued the Independent electoral and boundaries commissions and the Attorney general.
The petitioner further avers that at independence, there were Wajir North and south constituencies. However over a period of time, 4 more constituencies have been created from wajir North and none from wajir south constituency yet during the national census of 1999; the population of the two regions was almost the same. "There are many constituencies that have been created by the IEBC from constituencies with lesser population and geographical area," he says.
It's the petitioner's argument that the IEBC has failed to properly discharge its mandate as required by the constitution and the commission's act of 2011. The petitioner claims that the IEBC has the constitutional duty and mandate of delimitation of electoral under article 89 of the constitution. It also has the responsibility of reviewing the names and boundaries of constituencies at intervals of not less eight years and not more than 12 years.
The petition has been filed within 30 days of the gazettement of the final report that was gazette on 6 March 2012. High Court judge David Majanja certified the matter as urgent and directed that the named parties be served with the necessary documents. Case will be mentioned today for direction.