The days of Kikuyu community dominance in Nairobi politics are back if the Building Bridges report proposal on constituencies boundaries review is adopted. With 17 constituencies, Nairobi is set to get 16 more MPs of the 70 additional legislators proposed in the BBI report.
The additional 70 constituencies will see the national assembly have 360 MPs in what the BBI proponents say is meant to address the requirements of article 81(b, c & d) and Article 89(7) that will see the population quota become 132,138 people per MP. The 70 additional seats are expected to address gender, people with disabilities and under-representation issues within heavily populated constituencies, especially those in the urban and periurban areas. Going by the 2022 parliamentary elections outcome, members of the Kikuyu community will scoop the lion’s share of the MPs seat in Nairobi as they are likely to have 15 of them.
The parliamentary seats to be split are Dagorreti South (2), Roysambu (2), Kasarani (2), Embakasi North (2), Embakasi Central (2), Embakasi East (1), Embakasi West (1), Makadara (1), Kamukunji (1) and Mathare (1). Others are, Langata (1), Kibra (1), Ruaraka (2), Embakasi South (1), Embakasi East (1) and Mathare (1). Also targeted are Westlands (1), Dagorreti North (1), Kibra (1) and Makadara (1). Dagorreti North, Embakasi South and Westlands are also set to gain. According to the 2017 voters roll, all the constituencies in Nairobi had over 100,000 voters, which means nearly all of them save for one will be split into two.
In the voters roll, Starehe constituency had 152,718 voters and 230 polling stations, Dagoretti North 147,214 voters and 220 polling stations, Dagorreti South 107,239 voters and 168 polling stations, Langata 132,572 voters and 200 polling stations, Kibra 118,276 voters and 180 polling stations, Roysambu 147,582 voters and 221 polling stations, Kasarani 146,701 voters and 222 polling stations, Ruaraka 116,301 voters and 175 polling stations, Embakasi South 150,314 voters and 221 polling stations, Embakasi North 104,253 voters and 157 polling stations, Embakasi Central 131,991 voters and 193 polling stations, Embakasi East 140,740 voters and 207 polling stations, Embakasi West 126,682 voters and 187 polling stations Makadara 126,048 voters and 192 polling stations Kamukunji 120,266 voters and 181 polling stations, Starehe 166,397 voters and 253 polling stations and Mathare with 115,559 voters and 171 polling stations.
Assuming that Starehe constituency represented by Charles Kanyi alias Jaguar is not split since most of the voters are those who commute to work in the city centre, the other 16 constituencies will be divided into two, bringing the total number to 33 parliamentary seats. Going by the voting pattern in the 2017 parliamentary elections, the Kikuyu community will scoop 15 of the 32 seats in regions where the current MP is from the community or they have a large presence of voters. But this can change in case the community presents more than one candidate for the seat in the polls.
City MPs are Simba Arati (Dagoretti North, ODM), John Kiarie (Jubilee, Dagoretti South), Benjamin Mwangi (Jubilee, Embakasi Central), Paul Ongili (Embakasi East, ODM), James Gakuya (Embakasi North, Jubilee), Julius Mawathe (Embakasi South, Wiper), George Theuri ( Embakasi West, (Jubilee), Yusuf Hassan (Kamukunji, Jubilee), Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani, Jubilee), Imran Okoth (Kibra, ODM), Nixon Korir (Lang’ata, Jubilee), George Aladwa (Makadara, ODM), Anthony Oluoch (Mathare, ODM), Isaac Ndirangu (Roysambu, Jubilee), Kajwang Tom (Ruaraka, ODM), Jaguar (Starehe, Jubilee) and Timothy Wanyonyi ( Westlands, ODM).
If the voters retain the voting pattern in 2017 the ethnic composition of the new MPs will be as follows:
1. Westlands is represented by Wanyonyi, a Luhya. Before Wanyonyi, another Luhya, Fred Gumo, represented the region. Depending on how it is split, a Luhya and Asian are likely to be the beneficiaries since the region has a high concentration of the two communities. Two Asians, Kamlesh Pattni and Amin Walji tried their hand at the seat in the last elections.
2. Dagorreti North constituency is represented by Arati, a Kisii. In the 2017 elections, Arati’s main rival was Beatrice Elachi, a Luhya. Going by the voting patterns, the constituency once split into two is likely to have Kisii and Luhya parliamentarians.
3. Dagorreti South is represented by comedian Kiarie, a Kikuyu. Kiarie’s major opponent in the last election was Dennis Waweru, the former MP. Going by the voting patterns with constituency once split into two will have two Kikuyus as MPs.
4. Langata is represented by Korir, a Kalenjin. The MP’s greatest rival is Joash Olum, a Luo. If the voting pattern is retained the constituency once split into two will have a Kalenjin and Luo MP.
5. Kibra is represented by Imran Okoth, a Luo. Going by the voting pattern in the recent by-election where footballer Macdonald Mariga gave Okoth a run for his money, the constituency once split into two is likely to have a Luo and Luhya MP.
6. Roysambu is represented by Waihenya, a Kikuyu. With a large concentration of Kikuyu voters, the constituency once split into two will have two Kikuyu MPs.
7. Kasarani is represented by Gakuya, a Kikuyu. Her greatest rival in the elections was John Chege, a Kikuyu. Once split into two it will have two Kikuyu MPs.
8. Ruraraka is represented by Kajwang, a Luo. The MP’s rival in 2017 polls was Elizabeth Ongoro, a Luo. Once split the constituency is likely to have two Luo MPs.
9. Embakasi South is represented by Mawathe, a Kamba. In the recent by-election, Mawathe’s main rival was Imrad Sumra, of ODM. The region has a large concentration of Kamba voters. If split into two, It is likely to have two Kamba MPs.
10. Embakasi North is represented by Gakuya, a Kikuyu. His rival was ODM’s Jane Wangui, a Kikuyu. With a large concentration of Kikuyus, the region is likely to have two Kikuyus as MPs once it is split.
11. Embakasi Central is represented by Gathiru alias Major Donk, a Kikuyu. His rival was Kariuki Ndirangu, a Kikuyu. The region is likely to have two Kikuyu MPs once split.
12. Embakasi East is represented by Ongili, a Luo. His main opponent in 2017 was Francis Mureithi, a Kikuyu. The region is likely to have Luo and Kikuyu MPs.
13. Embakasi West is represented by Theuri, a Kikuyu. His major rival in 2017 was Tom Agimba, a Luo. The region once split is likely to have Kikuyu and Luo MP.
14. Makadara is represented by Aladwa, a Luhya. His rival in Benson Mutura, a Kikuyu. Once split it is likely to have a Luhya and Kikuyu MP.
15. Kamukunji is represented by Hassan, a Somali. With a large Kikuyu presence it is likely to have a Somali and Kikuyu MPs one split.
16. Mathare is represented by Oluoch, a Luo. His rival in 2017 was Stephen Kariuki, Kikuyu. The region is likely to have Luo and Kikuyu MP once split.