AND WANJIRU MACHARIA
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8- Nairobi and Nakuru County Assemblies on Tuesday joined several other County Assemblies in rejecting the Punguza Mizigo Bill, fronted by Third way Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot.
In Nairobi, Majority leader Abdi Guyo, said the Bill does not have the interests of Nairobi residents at heart and that some of the proposals made by Aukot are not realistic.
“The Bill is against the gains made in the 2010 Constitution especially in relation to gender and marginalized communities,” said Guyo.
While opposing the motion Deputy Minority Whip Moses Ogeto also a member of the County’s Justice and Legal committee said the proposals made in the Bill were rejected by city residents during public the participation stage.
“During public participation Nairobi residents made it clear that they don’t want it and as the people’s representatives we have rejected it,” said Ogeto who represents Kilimani Ward.
In Nakuru, members of the county assembly debated and adopted a Legal and Justice Committee report that was tabled by Viwandani Ward MCA Erick Gichuki Kariuki who is the committee chair.
The Committee while tabling the report that recommended the disapproval of the Punguza Mizigo bill argued that the Bill has double standards in most of the clauses.
“The Bill proposes that if you are mentioned by any inquiry body then you will not be eligible to contest any seat. That is like giving the auditor general the power of the DCI and therefore this is a draft bill that is double standards” said Gichuki.
However, Elburgon Ward MCA Njuguna Mwaura and his Lakeview Ward counterpart Peter Karanja Mburu supported the Bill, arguing that it addresses the overrepresentations in the county assembly and the National assembly.
Back to Nairobi, acting speaker Chege Mwaura had given the legal committee powers to oversee the public participation exercise and table a report for the MCAs to debate.
The members who unanimously rejected it, argued that the Bill lacks inclusivity and that it does not align itself to the two- thirds gender rule which is a key proponent of the constitution.
Some of the proposals in the Bill includes setting wards as the primary unit of development, reduce the number of MPs from 416 to 147 and have a single seven-year presidential term among other radical proposals.
So far, Aukot’s bill has been rejected by at least seven county assemblies including; West Pokot, Nyamira, Siaya, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kisii, with Uasin Gishu being the only county Assembly which passed it.
The timeline for debating the Bill in at least 24 counties is set to expire on October 15.
The County Assemblies Forum last month called for the suspension of debate on the Bill in all county assemblies to allow for public participation.
County Assemblies Forum (CAF) Secretary-General Kipkurui Chepkwony said they are scheduled to meet on October 11 to take a common position on the Bill.