Aukot Punguza Mizigo bill will face stiff test, say Nyanza MPs

Thirdway Alliance Party of Kenya Leader Ekuru Aukot. [Standard]
The push for a referendum by the Thirdway Alliance faces an uphill task after leaders vowed to rally residents to reject it.

In the region dominated by Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement party, leaders vowed to frustrate the Punguza Mizigo initiative that is being driven by Ekuru Aukot.

Speaking at the weekend in Siaya, MPs Samuel Atandi (Alego/Usonga), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Otiende Amollo (Rarieda) and Elisha Omondi (Gem) vowed to rally the region to reject the Bill.

Mr Atandi said they would advise residents to wait for the recommendations of the Building Bridges Initiative team.

Governor Cornel Rasanga urged county assemblies to reject the bill, adding that they would frustrate Dr Aukot’s quest to change the Constitution.

“We know how to boycott elections and we will boycott that referendum,” said Rasanga.

In Gusii region, leaders claimed that Aukot’s bill would take away power from the people and vowed to fight it.

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“Nobody can tell us that Kenya will be a better country if we reduce the number of counties, constituencies and wards. That will be taking them to where they were 30 years ago when they could not access services,” said North Mugirango MP Joash Nyamoko.

In Busia, ODM chairman Patrick Obongoya also said the initiative would not sail through the county assembly.

Mr Obongoya, who is a nominated MCA, said they would have supported the bill if President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila were involved in its creation.

Separately, Busia National Youth Council chairman Benjamin Sireka appealed to ward reps to support the bill when tabled in the assembly.

Mr Sireka said Aukot meant well for the country. “We do not expect our MCAs to oppose the bill because it is favouring them. They are going to get a lot of money for development.

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Orange Democratic MovementEkuru AukotThirdway AllianceSiayaBusia National Youth CouncilNyanza region