Turkana wad reps on Thursday approved the Punguza Mizigo bill going against the rejection wave that has met the initiative across the country over the last two weeks.
The MCAs approved the bill sponsored by Thirdway Alliance Party leader Ekuru Aukot, who hails from the county, saying the amendments proposed by it were implemented the country would realise equitable distribution of resources and the tightening of the fight against corruption.
The MCAs spoke in unison in support of the bill that has been rejected by over 30 county assemblies the last fortnight.
The Turkana MCAs joined Uasin Gishu as the two assemblies to have given the bill a thumbs up since the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission approved it for submission for their debate and voting.
On Thursday, Chairperson Committee on Justice, Human Rights and Legal Affairs Zainabu Lokaale moved that Dr Ekuru Aukot’s bill will eradicate marginalization by ensuring that county revenue share is increased from the current 15 to 35 percent and wards banked on as a primary units for development.
Ms Lokaale who in the morning presided over a public participation forum at Lokiriama Community Hall in Lodwar noted that residents in vast counties such as Turkana will have easy access to service a through their respective wards than relying on county government with headquarters located far from them.
Lokichoggio MCA Paul Loreng while seconding the motion said that residents at each ward unit backed with resources will be able to push for unique priorities aimed at improving their lives.
Mr Loreng said that despite existing many corruption scandals in the country involving billions of shillings, court cases of suspects have failed to ensure the funds are traced and returned to fund public projects.
He said that the bill has put forth stringent mechanism to tackle runaway corruption.
“Corrupt suspects should be tried within the shortest time possible and a life sentence imposed to culprits convicted of corruption and theft of public funds to discourage theft of public funds meant to enhance service delivery.” Mr Loreng said.
Kalokol MCA Simon Nang’iro argued that Punguza Mizigo puts people first by addressing over representation through reducing the number of Members of Assembly from the current 416 to 147.
“Representation is not being felt on the ground. We want services not representation.” Mr. Nang’iro said.
Nominated MCA Alice Nakawa the only MCA who opposed the bill said that reducing number of constituencies will hurt services delivery especially in vast counties.
Other MCAs led by Nominated MCA Matthew Alany said that they passed the bill not because Dr. Aukot comes from the county but because the bill prioritized the common mwananchi.
He claimed that some sections can be included in the Building Bridges Initiative which they will also debate on when the time comes and decide too.
The Speaker Ekitela Lokaale gave time to each and every MCA to give views on the bill before it was passed with only Ms. Nakawa opposing it.
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