By Alex Ndegwa
Clan politics and political ambitions set up Members of Parliament against each other during a dramatic vote on a report of a House committee on boundaries on Wednesday night.
Party lines were set aside as protection of turf against attempts by neighbors to shift boundaries became the paramount objective during the heated debate marred by unsavory exchanges.
After a sitting that lasted until 11pm, MPs adopted the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee report, which increased the number of wards by 60 to 1,510 and altered boundaries, after multiple amendments.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ( IEBC) is required to, within 14 days, consider the House resolutions and submit its final report on boundaries of 290 constituencies and wards for publication in The Kenya Gazette.
Clan politics came to the fore as Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim and Dujis MP Aden Duale clashed over a proposed new ward in Garissa.
Mr Maalim successfully opposed a proposal to hive off a section of Garissa municipality and lump it with proposed Balambala constituency.
The Lagdera MP argued that the transfer of Medina Ward would result in the Auliyahan clan being the minority and "they are unlikely to get political power."
But Mr Duale questioned why Maalim had moved the amendment on behalf of nominated MP Amina Abdalla, a member of the Justice Committee, he accused of meddling in the regionâs affairs.
"This is clan politics," Duale charged. Fafi MP Aden Sugow joined the debate asking Maalim to "allow people to integrate."
But Maalim responded: "This House must realise what is at play. Sugow and Duale come from the same clan. This is gerrymandering so that the minority clan would never get political power."