Kajiado passes BBI, but Vihiga MCAs want cash

Kajiado became the eighth county to pass the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment Bill) 2020 even as MCAs in Vihiga lamented they had not been facilitated to carry out public participation.

In Kakamega, MCAs said they would not pass the Bill until their demands for car grants and Sh300,000 for public participation are fulfilled.

In Kajiado, 23 MCAs, against nine, voted to approve the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill.

Voting was done by acclamation with Assembly Speaker Johnson Osoi saying he was satisfied with the process.

Those who rejected the document said the process was marred by irregularities. They claimed there was lack of quorum during the public participation session on Tuesday.

However, Osoi dismissed the claims saying due process was followed.

Area governor Joseph Ole Lenku thanked the MCAs for showing their trust in the Bill.

“Our county Assembly has spoken and it has done so loudly,” Lenku said even as a number of counties held public participation forums.

In Nairobi, some residents expressed concern over the manner in which the Bill was being popularised. This  came even as MCAs vowed to pass the Bill today.

During the public participation forum held at Charter Hall, representatives of residents from the 85 wards were allowed to give their views.

They had also been asked to submit written memoranda through the office of the clerk.

Swaleh Njoroge, from Spring Valley Matopeni Ward, hailed the Bill but accused the pro-BBI faction in Nairobi of using state machinery to advance its agenda.

“I have read the document and I agree with its proposals. However, I am unhappy with leaders who have turned  debate on the BBI Bill into a Raila-Uhuru versus Ruto politics,” said Njoroge.

County assembly Majority Leader Abdi Guyo said the bill enjoyed 90 per cent support from MCAs.

“We will not only ensure the bill passes, we will also mobilize residents to ensure over one million vote in favour of the bill during the referendum,” said Guyo, who is also the Matopeni MCA.

Meanwhile, MCAs in Migori want governor Okoth Obado to sit in the Assembly when the Bill will be debated next Tuesday to boost chances of its success. They denied claims some of them were planning to shoot down the document.

Boniface Oremo, of East Kanyamkago Ward, said it was important that local leaders are united for BBI to succeed. Isebania MCA Elias Nyahure dismissed reports their colleagues from Kuria East and West were planning to reject the Bill.

“We, as MCAs from Kuria, have embraced BBI and we will ensure it is passed. None of us is planning to reject the Bill,” said Nyahure.

MCAs in Vihiga said they are unable to carry out public participation due to lack of facilitation. Luanda Township MCA Tom Atingo said they are broke. “The Government should not expect the Bill to pass so fast unless we are adequately facilitated,” he said.

“We cannot go to the people empty-handed. We want the car grant and the Sh300,000 for public participation.”

Isukha South ward rep Farouk Machanje said no amount of pressure will make them support the document if the State does not meet their demands.

“No one is saying we are not interested in the BBI. We are fully aware that through allocation of ward funds, MCAs will develop their wards. But we are wondering why they are reluctant to meet our demands,” said Machanje.

In Bungoma, Lwandanyi MCA and the deputy minority leader Tony Barasa said the Bill is still going through public participation.

“Public participation has started. We expect the forums to be concluded on Tuesday before the Legal and Justice Committee table the document for debate. We are confident the MCAs will pass it,” said Barasa.

Busia passed the bill on Tuesday, coming after Siaya, Kisumu and Homa Bay.

 [Peterson Githaiga, Josphat Thiong’o, Anne Atieno, Nathan Ochunge, Simon Oyeng, Bernard Lusigi]

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