The Nakuru County Assembly has unanimously rejected the Punguza Mizigo Bill, saying it threatens devolution and the survival of MCAs.
Only Lake View Ward MCA Peter Karanja Mburu supported the Bill.
“This Bill gives the people of Kenya an opportunity to decide their fate,” said Mr Mburu.
During a two-hour debate, the 78-member House said the Bill calls for the reduction of wards which they are opposed to.
Interestingly, the Jubilee dominated House was the first county assembly out of the 47 whose members had shown interest to embrace the proposed law change when Thirdway Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot visited the assembly on July 24.
When they met Dr Aukot, the MCAs even promised to popularise the Bill at the grassroots during public participation sittings in the 55 wards.
However, the Bill was not subjected to public participation as the MCs failed to initiate the process in the wards as they had promised Dr Aukot.
The Bill was bound to flop as days after showing interest in the push for a referendum, the Jubilee MCAs were summoned in Naivasha by top party leaders and warned against supporting it.
On Tuesday, before the motion was tabled by chairman of the joint committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and Rules and Delegated Legislation Eric Gichuki, the MCAs held a 30-minute closed-door meeting led by Speaker Joel Maina Kairu before the session started.
Some of the MCAs who had invited Dr Aukot led by Kabazi MCA Peter Mbae said the referendum push would disrupt the spirit of devolution.
“This is a populist Bill that is misplaced as it aims at abolishing the 290 parliamentary positions and the wards and this defeats the spirit of devolution of bringing services closer to the residents,” said Mr Gichuki.
He said the proposal by the Bill to reduce the number of nominated MPs from 12 to six is misplaced.
Mr Stanley Karanja (Naivasha East) said the Bill is “poison laced with sugar” and does not give room for amendments.
Mr Karanja, who initially was on the frontline in supporting the Bill, accused the sponsor of the Bill, Dr Aukot, of using the MCA as a rubber stamp to help him ascend to the highest office in the land.
“The sponsor of this Bill did not subject this Bill to public participation and it is wrong for Dr Aukot to sneak it in the county assemblies and use the MCAs to advance his political agenda,” said Mr Karanja.
Sirikwa MCA Alfred Mutai said the Bill is a big draw back as it is killing the representation of the marginalised communities in the county assemblies and the national assembly, women and the youth by proposing to scarp some of the positions.
Subukia MCA Mary Waiganjo and nominated MCA Zaituni Zainabu said the Bill is anti-women as it proposes the scraping of nominated women MCAs.