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Punguza Mizigo Bill flops after failing to meet constitutional threshold

By Japheth Ogila and Jael Mboga | October 16th 2019 at 05:11:28 GMT +0300

Thirdway Alliance Party Leader Dr Ekuru Aukot addresses Members of Nyandarua County Assembly on August 4, 2019 on Punguza Mizigo Bill. [File, Standard]

Thirdway Alliance Kenya Party’s Punguza Mizigo Bill has flopped after it failed to be passed in 24 counties as required by the Constitution.

On Wednesday, the bill, which is fronted by Thirdway Alliance Kenya Party leader Ekuru Aukot failed to garner support in Machakos and Baringo counties.

The bill suffered on the floor of Embu County Assembly earlier in the day on technical grounds after lacking a seconder.  The Deputy Speaker Steve Munene proposed it and requested Mwea MCA Harrison Mwaluko to second. Mwaluko however, declined making it to flop. Yesterday, the Bill was also thrown out by Busia and Garissa counties.

In Bomet County, the bill was supported by eight MCAs who voted in its favour but failed to sail through after 23 others rejected it.

The Bill proposes to amend the Constitution of Kenya 2010 under the initiative as envisioned in Article 257.

As outlined on the party's website, Aukot says reasons for the amendment push include using the 47 counties as single constituency unit for Parliamentary elections to the Senate and National Assembly.

He has also called for the reduction of the cost of running Parliament from the current Sh36.8 billion to Sh5 billion per year. This would save taxpayers Sh31.8 billion.

Perhaps the most popular element of the Punguza Mizigo campaign is its bid to address over-representation.

It also proposes to reduce the number of MPs from the current 416 to 147 - making the load lighter, hence the term Punguza Mizigo.

In September, MPs backed down on proposals that would have given them a blank cheque in determining their pay and allowances.

The MPs deleted two clauses that would have allowed the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) to bypass the Salaries and Remuneration commission (SRC) in determining their remuneration, travel and accommodation perks.

This followed a memorandum from President Uhuru Kenyatta to Parliament, in which he asked the House to re-consider the provisions.

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