Aukot scores as ‘Punguza Mizigo’ Bill gets county endorsement

Third Way Alliance Party Leader Ekuro Aukot (centre) with party Secretary General Fredrick Okang’o (right) and Organising Secretary Joyce Kipuri during a past press briefing. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The Third Way Alliance Party leader Ekuru Aukot may outshine President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM Raila Odinga in the quest for a referendum.

This is after Aukot’s ‘Punguza Mizigo’ Bill received positive reception in Homa Bay County Assembly.

The Majority Leader Walter Muok said they will support the Bill.

Muok said the Bill empowers devolution which is the key reason why Kenyans moved from the old constitution in 2010.

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Muok is satisfied with a proposal in the Bill which allows the creation of ward development fund and addition from 15 to 35 per cent of funds which the National Government gives county governments.

The Majority Leader said they had had trouble in creating ward development fund which had not seen the light of the day since devolution was started.

“In my opinion, the Bill strengthens devolution by recognizing wards as the lowest unit of development. Creation of ward development fund and increasing allocation of funds from the national government to county government will enhance implementation of development projects by county governments,” Muok said.

The Kanyadoto Ward Rep said the Bill also reduces the wage bill by reducing the number of elected leaders and salary scales.

“Reducing the wage bill will create more funds for development. I will make efforts to ensure my colleagues support the Bill,” said Muok.

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This comes after a group of four ODM legislators discredited the Punguza Mizigo Bill terming it half-baked and rushed.

The group, which comprised Siaya Senator James Orengo, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, Aleg0-Usonga MP Samwel Atandi and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, said the Aukot-led initiative failed to address all the pertinent issues.

 They urged the Thirdway Alliance Party to be patient and to wait for the report by the Building Bridges Initiative that has all issues of the people, which will give way forward on the changes of law.

"We are waiting for the BBI report that has all the issues of the people. The questions in Aukot's proposals have not undergone stakeholders’ consultations. Let us wait for October when we will have the BBI report and thereafter a referendum that will decide on the fate of Kenyans," said Senator Orengo.

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Third Way AllianceEkuru AukotRaila OdingaUhuru KenyattaPunguza Mizigo