With or without the Building Bridges Initiative, Ruiru Constituency in Kiambu county, one of the most populous areas in Kenya, according to data from the 2019 census would have been divided into two.
The vast Constituency’s MP Simon King’ara said that he had, even before the BBI proposals, written a letter to the relevant agencies seeking its division to help it gain some substantial development.
Between 2009 and 2019, Ruiru’s population shot up from 238,858 to the current 490,120 people, representing a 105 per cent growth.
The dorm of the capital Nairobi is now the sixth largest urban center in the country and, by far, exceeds major towns.
King’ara said the Sh 109 million he has been receiving as NG-CDF kitty is not enough to offer security and schools developments (including bursaries) to the entire population.
He decried that he has been receiving the same funding with MPs representing a population of 50,000 people and below.
“The money I have been receiving is very little owing to the many challenges we have been battling in Ruiru. With or without the document, I had written a memorandum seeking to get rid of the inequitable distribution of revenue and a possible division of Ruiru,” he said.
Ruiru is among the six Constituencies proposed for division should the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020 sail through the proposed national referendum.
Others in the proposals are Thika, Juja, Kiambaa, Kikuyu and Kabete which are currently enjoying a population of 190,000 people and above.
Nationally, Rift Valley, Nairobi, Central and Coast will be the biggest beneficiaries of the new 70 constituencies that will see an increase in the number of constituencies from 290 to 360.
The Bill indicates that the larger Rift Valley will get 23 new constituencies, Nairobi 12, Central Kenya 11 and Coast 10.
Kiambu County will get six new constituencies, Nakuru 5, Kilifi 4 while Uasin Gishu, Narok, Kajiado, Mombasa, Kwale and Bungoma counties will get three each.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will be required to draw up boundaries of the new constituencies within six months after the national yes or no debate.
Speaking at Gitothua ward in his constituencies where he donated blankets, mattresses and clothes to over 20 victims of a recent fire outbreak that razed their houses, King’ara termed the BBI as the solution to inequitable distribution of national resources.
While urging Kenyans to allow the constitutional process to be followed in the race for a new governance structure in the country, the MP rooted for unity adding that Kenyans were not being compelled to give the document a nod.
“I will also sign to give this debate a go ahead to move in the next stage. For referendum to happen is a long process and we are not whipped to pass the document. We however need unity in this country and that is where our hearts are,” he said.