Thirdway Alliance Party leader Ekuru Aukot is in Mandera County Friday to engage locals on the Punguza Mizigo bill.
Dr Aukot was welcome to Mandera by local political leaders to explain to the public his agenda and what the bill entails.
“Dr Aukot will engage locals in a public participation on the contents of the bill before we make a decision on the floor of the assembly,” said Mr Jimale Abdi Hassan, who is the minority leader at Mandera County Assembly.
Mr Hassan said locals and the leadership needed to hear and understand the bill before making any decision.
“The Punguza Mizigo bill is with the Justice and Legal Committee and we are only interested in Dr Aukot’s explanation before we decide,” he said.
Justice and Legal Affairs Committee chairman Mohamed Ibrahim Yussuf said Dr Aukot’s visit will provide answers to some contentious clauses of the bill.
Mr Ibrahim urged locals to turn up in numbers since Dr Aukot has promised to provide a better understanding of the bill, clarify and explain its content to the public.
“We shall be tabling the bill on the floor in the next two weeks and we shall be deciding on it according to the public’s input,” said Mr Yussuf.
Mr Yussuf decried high levels of illiteracy in Mandera as the major challenge in transacting assembly business.
“Most of our population is illiterate which takes a lot of time explaining every issue that needs public participation but I believe this bill be understood and a decision reached fast enough,” he said.
Mr Abdi Adan Ali, Leader of Majority at the Mandera County Assembly said the bill will only be endorsed if it protects devolution and guarantees more resources to the counties.
“We are interested in protection and improvement of devolution and this will be clarified by Dr Aukot himself to the public before we adopt or reject the bill,” he said.
According to Mr Ali, residents of Mandera will only support what strengthens devolution.
Dr Aukot’s visit to Mandera comes amid rejection of the bill by Members of the Homabay and Muranga County Assemblies.
The bill seeks to amend the 2010 Constitution and reduce the public wage bill by cutting the number of elective seats.
In Murang'a, MCAs argued that Dr Ekuru's proposals would reduce the gains made by the 2010 constitution such as nomination of MCAs in relation to gender and marginalised communities
Other counties that have rejected the bill include Siaya and Kirinyaga leaving Uasin Gishu as the only county that has passed the bill.
Dr Aukot has since accused some forces within government of sponsoring his defeat at the county levels by bribing MCAs.
The bill needs backing of atleast 24 counties to pass the test for a referendum with only less than a month remaining for the 47 counties to pass or reject the bill.
According to Dr Aukot, his Bill seeks to reduce the representation in Parliament from 416 members to 147 and to increase counties’ revenue share to 35 percent.