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City MCAs promise to pass BBI Bill

KENYA
By Josphat Thiong’o | February 1st 2021
Nairobi Assembly Deputy majority whip and South B MCA Waithera Chege. [Samson Wire, Standard]

The Nairobi County Assembly leadership has resolved to pass the referendum Bill.

The MCAs, led by Deputy Majority Whip Waithera Chege, yesterday called on their counterparts in other parts of the country to pass the Bill for the benefit of Kenyans and not merely because of the car grant pledge by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The assembly resumes plenary on February 9, after more than two months in recess. The BBI Bill is expected to top agenda of the House.

During the meeting with the President at Sagana State Lodge on Friday, 10 Mt Kenya county assemblies vowed to approve the Bill within 30 days.

The car grant pledge is seen as incentive to the MCAs, who have been seeking an increase in the amount they receive as car grants to Sh2 million.

"We have resolved to pass BBI with or without car grants, for we believe it has many benefits for devolution. Likewise, I am asking my counterparts countrywide not to vote for the Bill because of the car grant but for the benefits it has for the future generation," said Ms Chege.

Minority leader Michael Ogada said: “This will ensure that development in wards is not at the mercy of a governor, as money will be made available to the wards whether the MCA is in good or bad books with a governor. It will also give power to ward residents to identify projects they want implemented.”

Majority Whip Paul Kados observed that if passed, the proposed seven-year tax break would benefit youth who run businesses.

The law requires that the referendum Bill be passed by at least 24 county assemblies before it proceeds to Parliament.

Ms Chege, who is the South B Ward Representative, said approval of the Bill was the only way to ensure increase in allocation of funds to counties from 15 per cent to the 35 per cent.

"The additional resources will ensure service delivery is not constrained due to limited resources," she said.

Chege said the proposed ward development fund would ensure transformation of many areas. “This will ensure equitable distribution and development in the wards," she said.

Mr Kados said the BBI proposes the establishment of business incubation centers to provide business advisory services, which include access to capital and government contracts.

“I can tell you without any doubt that all our MCAs will support the Bill. I will mobilise members to vote for the document,” he said.

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