Showdown looms as Aukot bill goes to county assemblies

A section of Homa Bay County Assembly members at a past media briefing. [File, Standard]
A major split is looming in the 47 County Assemblies over the proposed ‘Punguza Mizigo’ initiative.

Yesterday, various ward representatives clashed over the proposed changes whose fate would be determined by the 2,250 MCAs.

A section of the MCAs have declared support while others have vowed to shoot down the proposals even as they wait for direction from their political parties.

The assemblies are largely controlled by the ruling Jubilee party and the National Super Alliance (NASA) affiliates whose party leaders hold both the knife and the yam of the country’s politics.

SEE ALSO :Counties are rejecting Aukot's Punguza Mizigo, what does it mean?

In North Rift, some of the MCAs said the bill favours them and if passed would strengthen devolution to spur economic development at the grassroots.

Cheptiret/Kipchamo MCA Gilbert Tenai, and a member of national governing council of County Assembly’s Forum (CAF), said the bill is in favour of MCAs as far as devolution is concerned.

 “We will be holding an election for CAF chair and secretary-general on Friday in Nairobi and thereafter make a decision of 47 county assemblies whether to support or reject the bill,” said Tenai who described the Bill as a good proposal.

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Uasin Gishu County Assembly Minority leader Ali Ramadhan (Kiplombe) said the proposed bill is ‘a good way forward for Kenyans as it will save more funds for development’ and he will support it.

Nandi County Assembly Majority leader David Koech said the proposed bill is ‘Mwananchi-oriented’ and said that although he is still internalising the proposals, he is in support.

SEE ALSO :Punguza Mizigo Bill flops after failing to meet constitutional threshold

Uasin Gishu Majority Leader Josephat Lowoi said they are yet to know the motive and spirit behind the Bill. 

Meru County Assembly Finance and ICT Committee chairman Dennis Kiogora said he did not like the proposed abolition of the 290 constituencies and making counties the lone units for national elections. 

Nyeri County Majority Leader James Kanyugo said he was still going through the Bill.

Kisumu County Assembly Majority Leader Kenneth Okoth told The Standard that he will only rally members to support the bill if the party leadership gives him a green light to do so.

In Homa Bay, Majority Leader Walter Muok said they will support Aukot's bill as it empowers devolution which is the key reason why Kenyans voted for new constitution in 2010.

SEE ALSO :Punguza Mizigo officially dead

Nyamira County Assembly Majority Leader Duke Masira said the draft was welcome to the regional assembly and that he will table it with the urgency it deserves.

In Kericho, Majority Leader Hezron Kipngeno said members will fully support the bill when it comes to the floor of the house since it proposes increased revenue allocation to counties from 15 to 35 per cent of the last audited accounts.

Nakuru Majority Leader Moses Ndung'u said they were yet to meet and take a stand on the Bill.

Other members

Baringo Majority Leader Lawi Kipchumba said he supports the proposals contained in the bill but could not say the same for other members.

SEE ALSO :Ruto hails MCAs for rejecting Aukot's Punguza Mizigo

At the Coast, most of the MCAs backed a proposal for increased revenue allocation to counties.

“We are waiting for the bill to be tabled to the county assembly and we will pass it because we have been advocating for increased revenue at the devolved units,” said Taita Taveta Deputy Speaker Chrispus.

In Kwale, Puma Ward MCA James Dawa said the proposal for more allocation to the grassroots was good, but it must be interrogated and changed to suit marginalised areas.

In Kilifi, Dabaso Ward MCA Emmanuel Changawa said the proposal to merge counties was not good.

Mombasa nominated MCA and ODM chairman Mohamed Hatimy said although the bill looks good on the surface, he was yet to fully understand it.

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Punguza MizigoReferendumAukot bill