BBI draft bill sails through in Homa Bay

Friday, February 12th, 2021 00:00 |
Homa Bay county MCAs during a past session. Photo/PD/File

Homa Bay County Assembly yesterday became the third gubernatorial legislature to endorse the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Amendment Bill after Siaya and Kisumu. 

Members of the County Assembly unanimously passed the bill, which was tabled before the House by Justice and Legal Affairs Committee chairman Ajimba Ayieta. 

The report was presented to the House after the committee concluded public participation on Wednesday.

Ayieta confirmed that members of the public, drawn from eight sub-counties in the county sufficiently gave their views on the bill. 

“Upon capturing the views of members of the public, it is the prayer of the committee that the House adopts the report on the bill,” said Ayieta. 

Seconding the report, Nominated MCA Kevin Onyango said the proposed constitutional changes would spur economic growth in the counties. 

“The proposal to increase shared revenue will accelerate implementation of the development agenda in the counties,” Onyango said. 

Assembly Majority Leader John Kiasa lauded the members for showing solidarity in approving the bill. 

This came as MCAs in the neighbouring Migori, prepared to debate the bill next week, after concluding public participation.

The bill was tabled in the county assembly on Wednesday, before being committed to the Justice and Legal affairs Committee to undertake the public participation exercise. 

The law dictates that the referendum Bill must be passed by at least 24 counties before it proceeds to Parliament for further debate  

And as various county assemblies raced against time to debate the bill, Busia residents urged the county assembly to move with speed and pass the document. 

Residents drawn from all the wards unanimously resolved that they will fully support the BBI document because it had a lot of benefits. 

Led by two former MCAs Gordy Mareba and Gomba Sewe, the residents said the increase of equitable share to counties from 15 per cent to 35 per cent will boost the local economy.

Similar plea

The resolution was made during a meeting chaired by nominated MCA Florence Ologi and her Nangina ward counterpart, John Obwogo.

A similar plea was made in Meru county, with the Speaker Joseph Kaberia urging MCAs to shelve personal political interests, as they embark on spearheading public participation on the document. 

Speaking during the official presentation of the document at the assembly, Kaberia said the MCAs had an obligation to accord  the people they represent, the opportunity to read and interpret in the simplest way possible, the contents of the BBI document before giving their opinion on the same.  

“The people of Meru county have the right to an opportunity to understand what BBI is all about, and what it has for them before advising leaders on whether to pass it or not by themcounty assembly,” he said.  

Kaberia said nobody should be in hurry to either pass or reject the document on behalf of the people they represent, saying the public had until March 23, to give their views.

 The bill went through its first reading before the Marsabit county assembly after it was tabled by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee chairperson Femina Hussein. 

During the session, the MCAs stated that the bill, will be subjected to public participation. 

The process to either pass or reject the BBI would be determined by the outcome of the public participation to be spearheaded by the committee. 

The situation was similar in Kisii, as the assembly approved the bill, paving way for public participation exercise. 

Copies of the report

The was committed it to the Committee of Delegated Legislation chaired by Paul Angwenyi.

Angwenyi said the committee,  will gather views from residents across the county’s nine sub counties’ and table them at the Assembly for debate. 

In Trans Nzoia county, assembly Speaker Joshua Mutoto Werunga announced that public participation will be held next week. 

Assembly Majority Leader Patrick Kisiero tabled the bill, and it was subsequently committed to the Justice and Legal Affairs House Committee. 

“The Justice and legal affairs committee will from next week meet locals across the five constituencies with the purpose of educating them,” he said. 

Kisiero said that copies of the BBI report were available and will be distributed to locals before public forums kick off. 

In Nyandarua county, residents will have a chance to present their views during a three-day public participation next week. 

Acting assembly clerk, Mukiri Muchiri said the public participation sessions will be held from Wednesday to Friday in the five constituencies of the County. 

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