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MPs now want 210 districts

NAIROBI, October 22 – Parliament on Wednesday approved a Motion seeking to create a law that will transform the 210 constituencies in the country into districts.

The Motion by Marakwet East Member of Parliament (MP) Boaz Kaino was seeking to increase districts to 149 in line with the number of constituencies in the country.

The MPs unanimously passed the motion saying the move would facilitate equal distribution of resources.

They said districts were used as centers of distributing resources without considering that some of them had more than one constituency.

This, the MPs added, resulted to huge disparities during the allocations especially for the districts with more than one constituency.

During his motion Mr Kaino, claimed that the current set up was unfair to most constituencies during allocation of opportunities such as recruitment into the disciplined forces.

Samburu West MP Simeon Lesirma however asked Parliament to also pay attention to the cost of converting constituencies into districts.

“Though I support the Motion, the financial implications are enormous in terms of infrastructure, police stations and others,” Mr Lesirma said.

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Konoin MP Julius Kones, in his contribution, said the proposed legislation would also end the trend of creating districts for political gain.

Tigania West legislator Prof Kilemi Mwiria echoed his sentiments saying politicians should also take the blame for impulse creation of districts since they also used the opportunity for their political mileage.

He suggested that districts be established on the basis of their populations and sizes.

Most of the MPs said the proposal came at the right time when the country was just about to start working on a new constitution.

Local Government Act

Still in Parliament Minister Musalia Mudavadi told the House that he would initiate amendments to the Local Government Act to make financial information accessible to civic leaders.

He said that he had in the meantime authorised clerks in all local authorities countrywide to disclose use of finances to council officials.

“My hands are tied by the Local Government Act and the Legal Notice from either appointing councilors to Tender Committees or removing the current members,” he said.
He said the data remained the preserve of council clerks and treasurers, who were the only signatories to the funds.

The amendment will allow councilors to be involved in managing the funds.

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He was responding to concerns by Igembe MP Mithika Linturi who said councilors had no control over the use of funds in local authorities, yet they represented the public.

Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale on his part said tenders within councils were given to outsiders locking out local participation in development.

Wednesday’s morning session also saw Mumias MP Benjamin Washiali give a Notice of Motion seeking to streamline care, prevention and treatment of cancer in the country.

He said the National Cancer Control and Prevention Bill 2008 when passed will facilitate early detection of cancer which is claimed to be the third killer in Kenya after HIV/AIDS and Malaria.

Econet case

Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende ruled that Parliament will not discuss any issues concerning the third mobile phone company Econet Wireless until the High Court gave its verdict in a case filed at the Milimani Commercial Court.

The case has been filed by the Kenya National Federation of Cooperatives (KNFC).

Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo wanted the Ministers for Cooperative Development and Marketing as well as Communication and Information to explain why Econet planned to roll out its mobile phone services without involving KNFC despite it being part of the consortium awarded the license.

Even after the Speaker’s ruling, Mr Kiema still wanted Econet stopped from rolling out its services until the court gave its judgement.

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Mr Marende advised interested MPs to file such injunctions in court.

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