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Punguza Mizigo scores first win with ward reps

By Stephen Rutto and Lynn Kolongei | September 4th 2019

Uasin Gishu county assembly majority leader Josphat Lowoi in Eldoret town. [Peter Ochieng]

Ward reps in Uasin Gishu have approved the Third Way Alliance’s Punguza Mizigo Constitutional Amendment Bill, becoming the first County Assembly to endorse it.

Through a 46 against one vote, the Assembly last evening passed all the Bill’s 16 provisions, including a one-term seven-year presidency.

It was a victory for the Ekuru Aukot-led alliance, which suffered a setback recently after Siaya County Assembly rejected the Bill that requires the support of 24 devolved units to move to Parliament.

This followed public participation on Tuesday last week where residents from all of the 30 wards in the county presented their views.

Majority Leader Josphat Lowoi said the Bill tabled by the Committee on Delegated Legislation would spur development in the country by making wards accelerated units of development.

Lowoi said the assembly would prepare a certificate to be forwarded to Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and National Assembly’s Justin Muturi for deliberations.

“If all the wards become the centre of development, that means Kenya will develop. The assembly was of the opinion that Punguza Mizigo Bill will address the perennial election violence in Kenya through the provision of one term presidency,” said Lowoi.

He said the assembly would deliberate on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and other proposals when they are brought to the House.

Minority Leader Ramadhan Ali (ODM, Kiplombe Ward) said the Bill was deliberated on based on its provisions and not party politics.

“Some wards in Uasin Gishu have lagged behind in development because they are perceived to be in the opposition, and Punguza Mizigo is the way to go. MPs’ salaries are huge and they are too many for the country to sustain their perks,” said Mr Ali.

County Assembly Speaker David Kiplagat said the approval of the Bill followed the right procedure.

“The Constitutional Amendment Bill was received in the county on July 22, and presented to the County Assembly on the same day. We engaged the audience through public participation forums across the 30 wards in the county last week ahead of the approval by MCAs,” he said.

He added that the ward reps passed the Bill after carefully understanding how it would benefit the country.

“This done, we will now forward a certificate of approval to the two Speakers,” he said.

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