Ruiru MP Kingara petitions IEBC to split constituency

Ruiru MP Simon Kingara (c) accompanied by the National Assembly Committee on Environment members for a tour of the controversial mining site at Akecth Village in Kasipul Constituency. [James Omoro, Standard]

Ruiru MP Simon Kingara now wants the constituency to be split into two.

Mr Kingara said once Parliament convenes he will champion for the split of the constituency.

With the process of delimitation of boundaries by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) yet to kick off, the MP has decried poor service delivery in the populous constituency in Kiambu county.

Article 89 of the 2010 Constitution requires IEBC to review names and boundaries of electoral areas at intervals of not less than eight years and not more than 12 years.

"In our estimation if you have more than seven wards you are overstretched. We have seven constituencies that have exceeded this," he said.

The MP urged the IEBC to use the official census data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and the 2019 population and housing census results to guide the review of electoral boundaries.

"The electoral commission should critically take into account geographical features of urban centres, community of interest as well as the social- economics of the constituency," he said.

"It should also dawn on the commission that our constituency is literally cosmopolitan and virtually an extension of Nairobi," he added.

Speaking in Kiambu town on Wednesday Kingara noted that Ruiru has a higher population compared to other constituencies in Kiambu county.

"Ruiru constituency is the biggest in the county and there is need to split it into two. The Constituency Development Funds that I receive cannot run the whole constituency," he said.

He said the constituency was lagging behind in terms of development because of its vastness and huge population.

"Students in this constituency have not seen the benefits of CDF because of its huge size," he said.

The MP argued that if the constituency will not be split then the Government should increase funding.

Residents said many of them do not access crucial services due to high demand.

They decried the defeat of the Building Bridges Initiative which proposed the split of Ruiru constituency.

“We want Ruiru constituency to be split so that services can reach everyone. We are so many here and some of us are left out in service delivery. So we support our MP in his quest to have the constituency split so that many of us can access vital services like bursaries,” said Antony Ndirangu, Mwihoko resident.

“We will not relent until our plight is addressed. We urge IEBC to fast track the process since we are suffering despite lining up to vote every electoral cycle ” he added.

Ruiru constituency is one of the most populous areas in Kenya, according to data from the 2019 census.

Between 2009 and 2019, the population shot up from 238,858 to the current 490,120, representing a 105 per cent increase.

It is referred as the dormitory of Nairobi and is the sixth most populated urban area in Kenya.

Half the population of Ruiru works in Nairobi, only 26 km away, while the other half comprises traders.

Measuring 292 square kilometres, Ruiru’s population translates to 1,678 people per square kilometre.

Populous areas of Kahawa, Wendani, Kahawa Sukari and the low-scale neighbourhood of Mwihoko are all within Ruiru Constituency.

Kinga’ra said Ruiru population has grown since 2019 and stands close to 700,000.