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Court halts gazettement of new boundaries

BUSIA
By | December 24th 2010

BY JUDY OGUTU

Ten people have obtained orders stopping the Government from publishing in the Kenya Gazette the proposed 290 constituencies. Led by Mr Daniel Odhiambo Omundhe, the applicants named the Attorney General (AG) and the Government Printer as respondents to the suit.

High Court Judge, Lady Justice Jeanne Gacheche issued conservatory injunction restraining the two respondents "from publishing in the Kenya Gazette the National Assembly constituencies order No 2 of 2010 made by the defunct Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission (IIBRC) on unspecified date or any modified or amended version of the said order."

The court also issued prohibition orders against the two respondents from publishing the 290 constituencies, specifically in relation to the decision to excise part of the existing North Alego ward from Alego Usonga Constituency, pending hearing and determination of the application. Justice Gacheche fixed a hearing date for March 22.

Violate rights

The applicants had filed an urgent application saying they are apprehensive the Government printer may gazette its report on the delimitation of electoral units arrived at through a flawed process "which shall violate the rights of the petitioner."

According to them, the IIBRC, which made the National Assembly constituencies order, ceased to exist upon expiry of its constitutional mandate on November 27.

"The National Assembly Constituencies Order, 2010 sought to be gazetted by the IIBRC is unconstitutional, null and void," they argued.

They also argued that failure to divide Alego Usonga into two is unlawful, discriminatory and in breach of the constitution. They say Alego Usonga is the largest constituency in Nyanza, and it is one of the remaining independence constituencies "and its people are homogenous and live within natural boundaries since time immemorial."

Further, it is their contention that Alego/Usonga is the only constituency in Nyanza with a county headquarters, which has not been divided —besides Nyaribari Chache where Kisii town is situated, whose population is within the constitutional quota.

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