Aukot confident South Rift will back Punguza Mizigo Bill

Tuesday September 10 2019

Thirdway Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot promotes his Punguza Mizigo Bill at the Turkana County Assembly in Lodwar on September 6, 2019. PHOTO | SAMMY LUTTA | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Third Way Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot is touring the South Rift for the second day to rally county assemblies to pass his Punguza Mizigo Bill.

The bill seeks to reduce number of MPs, scrap the position of deputy governor and introduce a one term presidency of seven years. It also seeks to increase funds allocated to counties from 15 per cent to 35 per cent.

In July, North Rift county assemblies vowed to endorse the bill. At that time, assemblies had three months to decide on the bill which will later be presented to the Senate and National Assembly.

It will make it to a referendum if 24 of the 47 county assemblies supports it.


Dr Aukot is scheduled to members of the Kericho county assembly before engaging the public.


“We have a lot of support from members of the public and MCAs across the country. We are confident we will get more than 24 assemblies to back the bill and open the route to amend the Constitution,” said Dr Aukot told the Nation on Tuesday morning.

He said Uasin Gishu, which passed the bill, set the pace for other assemblies.

“We are aware that there have been attempts to intimidate MCAs into withdrawing their support for the bill but it is becoming increasingly clear to elected leaders that the support from the public is overwhelming,” said Dr Aukot.


President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga are backing the Building Bridges Initiative which is expected to result in a referendum bill to rival Punguza Mizigo.

Deputy President William Ruto has opposed the BBI despite its backing by the President, in a clear indication of a falling out between the two Jubilee Party leaders ahead of the next general election in 2022.

Dr Ruto has, however, not thrown his weight behind the Aukot initiative.

Last week, Council of Governors chairman Wycliff Oparanya urged MCAs in his Kakamega County to reject the Punguza Mizigo Bill, saying the region would rally behind the BBI, which was a product of the March 9, 2018 handshake between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, who is Orange Democratic Movement leader.


Regarding the BBI, Dr Aukot said, “Kenyans and MCAs are being told to wait for something else, whose contents is not known and which is being sponsored by people who have clearly indicated that they are interested in expanding the Executive at the top thus overburdening Kenyans."

The politician is expected to tour Bomet and Kericho before proceeding to Migori, Busia, Nyamira and Kakamega counties.

He said the civic wards would get more than Sh 100 million each for development should the Executive be trimmed and that the positions of nominated members of Parliament would be scrapped and the composition of independent commissions be reviewed.