There was drama at Baringo County assembly as Homa Bay joined Siaya and Kisumu in passing the referendum Bill, yesterday.
In Baringo, police lobbed teargas canisters shortly after MCAs voted on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020.
Hell broke loose when Speaker David Kerich was preparing to announce how members voted.
Scampered for safety
Lights were switched off and members scampered for safety as teargas filled the chamber immediately after the results were announced.
Kerich declared that 30 out of 41 members had voted NO to oppose the draft while 11 voted YES. One member was absent. The Assembly has 42 members.
The House was sharply divided between members who wanted the document subjected to public participation and debate to proceed.
The session took a 30-minute break after Kanu and Jubilee MCAs clashed.
Kabarnet ward rep Ernest Kibet was incensed by his Mogotio counterpart Charles Kosgei’s contribution that was against the proposed draft and shot up from his seat to grab the microphone but was slapped. Troubled started when a section of members claimed that they had instructions not to debate the Bill before public participation.
After a shouting match, Kerich brought the House to order and debate resumed.
The debate lasted for one and half hours, before members called the House to division (a method of taking a vote that physically counts members voting).
It was not clear by the time of going to press whether the Assembly had adopted the resolution.
Earlier in the week, Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju summoned MCAs from Baringo in Nairobi for a meeting.
In a special session, Homa Bay MCAs said the proposed law would enhance economic development in counties.
“Increasing the shared revenue allocation to counties from 15 per cent to 35 per cent will enhance implementation of development projects in our wards,” said Nominated MCA Kevin Onyango as he seconded the Bill.
In Homa Bay, while introducing the Bill, Justice and Legal Affairs committee chairman Nicholas Ayieta explained that it was tabled in the House after undergoing public participation in all eight constituencies.
“After considering views of the public, members of my committee pray that the House endorses this Bill,” Ayieta said.
Gwassi North MCA Evans Marieba said the Bill will reduce county wage bill through appointment of half of members as Executives.
“MCAs appointed as CECs will be remunerated as MCAs alongside allowances for the additional responsibility and this will reduce the wage bill,” Marieba said.
Kanyadoto MCA Walter Muok said the proposed Ward Development Fund will boost development. “We currently rely on the Executive to implement development projects in our wards but the proposed law will prevent that situation,” said Muok.
Kochia MCA Michael Anyang’i said the proposal to increase county allocation from 15 per cent to 35 per cent will strengthen devolution.
“Devolution cannot prosper without proper funding which the Bill accords it,” he said.
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