Saturday, November 13, 2010

Legislators should not trash the IIBRC recommendations

By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
New Jersey, USA
The recommendations of the Independent Boundaries Review Commission should be respected and any anomalies addressed with sobriety and not through reactionary tactics being portrayed by political leaders, since the Chairman of the commission made the report public.

How long shall we see politicians trashing tax payer funded programs especially when it doesn’t serve their political interests? This is egocentricity, lack of leadership and a waste of resources should they demand for the reconstitution of a new IIBRC to start the same job Mr. Andrew Ligale’s team has completed.

If the IIBRC may have violated certain provisions in the current constitution in the apportionment of the constituency boundaries, threatening to trash the entire work of the commission will mean pressing for the reconstitution of another commission but this will be a toll on the Kenyan tax payers. We are tired of seeing taxpayers’ money being wasted on jobs which although not perfect, have been fully completed by the experts the country has been able to produce.

Many of our people are living from hand to mouth while others are languishing in IDP camps almost three years after the post election violence. Therefore, when leaders talk about expenditures that will drain the exchequer with no benefit to the lives of Kenyans, to me, it’s a poor show of leadership.

We need to be watchful on MPs out to frustrate the IIBRC recommendations that will be tabled in Parliament and this time, we are not going to condone threats like the one uttered by Limuru MP Peter Mwathi, who predicted violence if the Ligale commission recommendations are not handled with care.

Elected leaders who evoke violence to drive a political point when Kenyans are reeling from the violence that engulfed the country in 2008 is totally in bad taste and a sign of incitement. Such leaders should be picked by the law enforcement to record a statement.

We can’t trust leaders who are fond of raising eyebrows on issues that they think are detrimental to their political survival. This trend has turned to be a form of compulsive psychiatric disorder where political leaders are obsessed with rejecting what is beneficial to scores of millions of Kenyans each time a commission comes up with recommendations after wrapping up its work.

We saw the same trend in the Ndungu Land report, the Waki report, and Kriegler report and now it’s happening on Andrew Ligale’s boundaries review commission. Indeed, even if the Chairman of the IIBRC rescinded the recommendations of his commission to appease those against it, we shall still have those who will feel short changed because you can’t please everybody in the society.

Electoral boundaries are there to facilitate effective service delivery to the citizens of any Country and therefore, I believe Andrew Ligale’s team did consider local population demographics during the apportionment of 80 constituencies.

For instance, in the United States, California which is the most populous with 37 million people has an apportionment of 53 Congressional Representatives, while Wyoming with a paltry population of 50, 000 has only one. I believe that Mr. Ligale’s team did use these criteria to arrive at 80 constituencies.

Finally, this trend by politicians to try and paralyze the findings intended to shape the destiny of our country should cease. I do believe Mr. Andrew Ligale has impeccable credentials in public life and many Kenyans will trust the job he did as Chairman of IIBRC.
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