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New bill seeks to boost livelihoods for Kenyans

By Alphonce Shiundu | Jun 4th 2015 | 2 min read
Mombasa County Senator Hassan Omar Hassan (left), has a word with the Standard Senior report Roseline Obala (right), Star's Ibrahim Oruko and People Daily’s Dinah Ondari  during a meeting with Senators and the Kenya Parliamentary Journalist Association at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi on Wednesday. [PHOTO: GOVEDI ASUTSA/STANDARD].

NAIROBI: An ambitious bill to make sure the county and national governments find money to ensure every Kenyan gets a decent house, three meals a day, clean water and affordable healthcare has been published.

The bill sponsored by Senator Hassan Omar (Mombasa) seeks to give Devolution Cabinet Secretary and all governors the legal powers to actualise the promise of the five-year-old Constitution for a better life.

"Every time I go to meetings, I hear government bureaucrats telling the world that we have a very progressive Constitution and a good Bill of Rights, but to date, they have done nothing to actualise it," said Omar at a meeting with journalists in Nairobi. In it, the senator also wants the Commission on Revenue Allocation to expand the criteria for determining the marginalised areas and the use of the multi-billion shilling equalisation fund to end inequality.

The senator said the idea behind the Preservation of Human Dignity and Enforcement of Economic and Social Rights Bill, 2015, is to change politics from that based on political luminaries and ethnicity to service delivery. "This bill will be a game changer as it will lay the foundation for implementation of article 43 of the Constitution," said Omar.

Article 43 makes it a right for every person to have access to the highest attainable standards of health. It also grants a right to education, social security, clean water, freedom from hunger and affordable housing.

Apart from the universal education which is the job of the Government, the rest is the job of counties. The bill lays out a plan for counties to make sure they set aside money for projects to boost people's lives.

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