NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 26 – The proposal in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) on the establishment of a special status for Nairobi County has been struck out.
The Bill report that was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga at Bomas of Kenya in October, had proposed to have Nairobi retain its current status where the national government takes charge of four key functions through the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).
The report had proposed that Roads, Health, Transport and Disaster-related functions which were surrendered by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to NMS in March remain under the national government.
This proposal has however, been reconsidered in the amended Bill, now retaining Nairobi as a County, as it were.
This means that the next Governor of Nairobi will assume full functions as provided by the law after the term of Nairobi Metropolitan Services ends.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, who had expressed reservations on the earlier proposal, welcomed the move to have Nairobi as a County, saying it’s good for devolution.
“Permanent transfer of functions from Nairobi reconsidered. Full devolution like other counties” Sakaja tweeted Wednesday, soon after the launch of the BBI signatures collection.
The new Bill also seeks to create 70 new constituencies distributed in at least 28 counties, Nairobi alone will see an addition of extra 12 constituencies, bringing to 29 the total number of constituencies in the city.
The Bill also dropped some contentious issues that had elicited mixed reactions, including political parties nominating Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioners and the establishment of police council.
Also dropped in the contentious revenue sharing formula that was disadvantaging marginalized counties who would have lost billions in the allocation.
The Bill will require approval from 24 county assemblies before Kenya can hold a national referendum.