More counties pass BBI Bill

Kisii, Vihiga, Nairobi and Laikipia on Thursday joined the list of county assemblies that have passed the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Proponents of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill now have 11 counties under their belt in the race to garner support of at least 24 assemblies for the document to be taken to Parliament.

Kisii County Assembly today passed the BBI Bill, leaving Migori and Nyamira as the only ones in ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza base that are yet to pass it.

It joined Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, West Pokot, Kajiado and Busia county assemblies which have already passed the Bill.

The 68 MCAs unanimously voted to pass the Bill during a session chaired by acting Speaker Amos Onderi.

And after a false start the previous day, Vihiga County Assembly also became the second in western region to give a nod to the document.

Governor Wilber Ottichilo was in the House chambers to witness the MCAs pass the document.

All the 38 MCAs endorsed the report, terming it a game changer in terms of economic development.

On Wednesday, the MCAs were unable to debate the Bill after a section of ward reps demanded to first be given money for public participation.

In Nairobi, MCAs unanimously voted in favour of the Bill, with all the 105 members physically present and five logged in via zoom voting yes.

Present in the House were Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, nominated MP Maina Kamanda, Makadara MP George Aladwa, Embakasi MP Babu Owino, Kibra MP Imran Okoth, Roysambu MP Waihenya Ndirangu and Rachael Shebesh.

Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura announced the decision shortly after the vote saying that Nairobi County had set an example to other counties which should now pass the Bill.

Laikipia County Assembly also passed the Bill today.

Laikipia joins West Pokot, Kajiado and Trans Nzoia counties in the Rift Valley in ratifying the document.

Speaker Patrick Waigwa called for a vote after an over two hours of debate on the Bill, with 24 MCAs approving the Bill. No one opposed the Bill.

Initially there was growing perception that the region’s 14 counties would reject the draft on grounds that it would curtail Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential bid in 2022.

A week after resuming from December long recess, Nandi County Assembly is yet to table it while Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet assemblies plan for public participation later this week and next week respectively.

In Nandi, Majority Leader David Koech said the BBI report is yet to be tabled in the House. In Uasin Gishu, the Bill was tabled last week, and public participation forums will be held tomorrow.

Kericho County Assembly is set to conduct public participation across its sub-counties starting next week.

Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu and Taita Taveta counties have all announces plans for public participation forums before the vote on the BBI Bill.

[Reports by Josphat Thiong’o, Titus Too, Kennedy Gachuhi, Eric Abuga, Simon Oyeng’, Patrick Beja and Renson Mnyamwezi]

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