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MCAs say Central stands to lose if BBI flops

By Lydia Nyawira | May 17th 2021
Naivasha East MCA Stanley Karanja. [File, Standard]

MCAs from eight county assemblies in Central have raised concern over the gains the region stands to lose should the appeal on the BBI ruling fail at the Court of Appeal. 

Speaking in Nyeri on Monday, chairpersons of the assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committees (JLAC) said the region was expected to have the proposed 17 new constituencies.

The MCAs drawn from Nyeri, Nakuru, Tharaka Nithi, Muranga, Meru, Laikipia, Kiambu and Embu county assemblies expressed support for constitutional amendments saying this will increase the region's political representation at the county and national level

Nyeri JLAC chairperson Julia Wanjiku said: "These proposals would have seen the region closer to the one man, one vote, one shilling principle that is the foundation of democracy." 

Further, Ms Wanjiku noted that the assemblies conducted more than 150 public participation forums where the BBI report received support of the people.

Mt Kenya JLAC caucus chair Stanley Karanja (MCA Naivasha East) said the proposed Ward Development Fund would have ensured development of the region. 

"Currently governors decide which wards to develop and some wards are marginalised due to this situation. But BBI was proposing to ring-fence the ward funds and distribute about Sh20 million to each ward towards development," he said.

Karanja stated that central Kenya stands to lose close to Sh55 billion through increased allocation to counties from 15 per cent to 35 per cent. 

"These are monies which would have enabled us to invest in healthcare, agriculture and roads," he said. 

He noted that Nakuru County would have benefited from increased constituencies.

"Nakuru County would have gained at least five constituencies and this would have ensured money for development and fair representation in the county assembly," he stated.

Mwiyogo MCA Micheal Karuma asked for the courts to consider the fact that citizens overwhelmingly supported BBI proposals and gave MCAs the mandate to support the same in the county assemblies.

"The Court of Appeal should overturn the High Court ruling to protect the will of the people which was expressed through public participation process that the MCAs carried out," he said. 

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