BBI copied my Punguza Mizigo, claims Aukot

Former presidential aspirant Ekuru Aukot now claims that the Building Bridges Initiative plagiarised aspects of his flopped Punguza Mizigo Initiative.

“The Building Bridges initiative report is a collection of street talk tailor-made to create chaos by weakening constitutional institutions. There is no new thinking. It’s also lifting of aspects of the Punguza Mizigo Bill. What a waste of billions of taxpayers’ money,” he posted on Twitter.

However, Aukot was not categorical on the exact aspects that had been lifted from his proposal.

Aukot who is also the Thirdway Alliance Party leader, took to Twitter to express his disappointment on the BBI whose report was made public on Wednesday.

According to Aukot, there is nothing new that BBI addresses which was not addressed in his Punguza Mizigo bill which collapsed after being rejected by more than 24 counties.

Only Aukot’s home county (Turkana) and Uasin Gishu county assemblies passed the proposed legislation making it fail to secure the majority support which would have led to its introduction to parliament.

The popular element of his bill was to address over-representation by reducing the number of members of parliament from the current 416 to 147.

He also called for the reduction of the cost of running parliament from the current Sh36.8 billion to Sh5 billion per year.

But the BBI report does not entirely address over-representation.

Instead, it has proposed the establishment of the office of the Prime Minister.

As outlined on Aukot’s party’s website, there are only two proposals that can be considered similar to some of the aspects pointed out in the BBI report.

Both Punguza Mizigo and BBI addressed gender inequality in the counties by proposing that governors and deputy governors be of different genders.

Punguza Mizigo, however, wanted to do away with Women Representatives in the counties.

That aside, both proposals advocated increased county revenue by at least 35 per cent.

Dr Aukot has been a staunch critic of the BBI and has hinted at a relaunch of the flopped bill christening it “People’s Punguza Mizigo Kenya Phase 2.”

“They shall be releasing their predetermined report (BBI). It is their right, but guess what? We shall be launching the People’s Punguza Mizigo Kenya phase 2. It is carefully redrafted and well thought out after receiving the public views,” he said.

Aukot believes that his bill holds more weight than the BBI report saying that his team consulted 1.2 million Kenyans as opposed to BBI 7000 Kenyans out of 47 million Kenyans.

The BBI was a birthed by the surprise historic handshake between then bitter election opponents, Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The rapprochement between Uhuru and Raila stopped the animus between the two that followed the 2017 election. It is aimed championed at reducing post-election instability.

But Ekuru Aukot has termed the unity pact as a mere fantasy.

“National cohesion and inclusivity is still a mirage even with all the hullabaloo of BBI report,” said Aukot.

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