alexa Nakuru MCAs’ support for Aukot referendum push fades - Daily Nation

Nakuru MCAs’ support for Aukot referendum push fades

Monday September 16 2019

Punguza Mizigo

Thirdway Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot addressing Nakuru County Assembly MCAs on July 24, 2019 where he drummed support for his 'Punguza Mizigo' Bill. PHOTO |FRANCIS MUREITHI |NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FRANCIS MUREITHI
By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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Nakuru County Assembly MCAs are fast losing the steam they initially had to support Thirdway Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot’s Punguza Mizigo Bill.

However, in a bid to adhere to the constitutional requirement, Nakuru County Assembly, in an advert in the local dailies on Monday, invited the public to submit their views on the bill.

Sharp divisions have emerged among the MCAs who had initially united to support the bill. Many of the ward reps have now withdrawn their support for the bill even before it is tabled in the assembly.

LAW CHANGE

The Jubilee dominated House was the first out of the 47 assemblies where Dr Aukot launched his campaign to convince the MCAs to embrace the law change drive.

The Bill has not been taken to the House business committee nearly two months after the MCAs warmly welcomed Dr Aukot at the assembly.

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When Dr Aukot addressed the assembly, he seemed to have convinced the 78-member House to support his push for a referendum.

The MCAs said they were ready to support the Bill that seeks to reduce the number of MPs and take development funds to the wards among other changes in the Constitution.

Despite earlier promising to popularise the Bill at the grassroots during public participation sittings in the 55 wards, some of the MCAs are describing Dr Aukot’s document as a “still born baby”.

SUPPORT

However, since it was received at the assembly on July 24 not a single ward rep has taken initiative to support for the bill in their wards.

Kabazi MCA Peter Mbae, a member of the House business committee, confirmed that the process to table the bill was on course.

“The House resumed from recess on September 10 and the Bill will soon be one of the agenda to be discussed,” said Dr Mbae.

Sources at the assembly revealed that in a meeting last Wednesday, the business committee discussed the modalities to set dates for public participation.

Dr Mbae said the Bill process was still on course and will “soon” be scheduled in the House order of business.

However, some of the MCAs said they were still consulting widely as to when the bill would be tabled at the assembly.

“There is no hurry to table this Bill. There is a lot of lobbying as there are other bills lined up aimed at changing the Constitution such as Ugatuzi and Building Bridges Initiative,” said a nominated MCA who requested anonymity.

CONFUSION

However, Dr Mbae said that most of the MCAs in Nakuru want the three bills to be harmonised.

“We don’t want to subject Kenyans to a lot of confusion by tabling three bills with different agenda. The three bills should be harmornised by the National Assembly Committee on Legal Justice before Kenyans are given one bill to digest and make a final decision,” said Dr Mbae.

He said President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto must take responsibility ahead of the constitutional change.

“I urge the two principals to initiate the process that will lead to Kenyans into having one bill that will be subjected to scrutiny during public participation meetings at the grassroots,” said Dr Mbae.

Another ward rep said the assembly was contemplating holding the Aukot Bill until the other initiatives are made public.