County assemblies pledge to back proposals in BBI report
County assemblies in the country will drum up support for the constitutional changes proposed in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) because they favour devolution, the chairman of County Assemblies Forum (CAF) Ndegwa Wahome said yesterday.
Speaking in Ol Kalou, Nyandarua county, Wahome said CAF had met and resolved to support the BBI and also support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the fight against corruption.
“Devolution and county assemblies will be the biggest winners since funds to counties will be increased from 15 percent to 35 percent of entire national budget and the money to the county will not require approval by parliament like it is now,” the CAF chairman said adding that the funds will be pegged on the last audited account of national budget.
He said funds to counties will get a total of about Sh1 trillion per year adding that county like Nyandarua that has been receiving about Sh6 billion will get up to Sh20 billion.
He said with such huge allocation, counties can be transformed into paradise in a short time if the devolved units can do away with corruption.
“That is why we are telling the President that we shall walk with him in the fight against corruption,” Wahome said.
He said CAF had successfully pushed most of their issues to be addressed by the BBI.
Among the issues pushed by CAF in the BBI include Ward Development Fund for MCAs, assembly to have own budget instead of relying on governors and that MCAs and county speakers will not be required to resign before vying for parliamentary, senate or gubernatorial seats like the case is today.
Another big win for county assemblies is that although governors and their deputies are the chief executives of the devolved units, they will be directly answerable to county assemblies in future since a clause to that effect had been factored in the BBI.
“Some of the county assembly members will also be appointed CECs just like ministers will be picked from the national assembly.
“As chairman of County Assembly Forum, I can confirm we have no issues with the BBI constitutional amendment Bill,” he said.
Wahome challenged leaders to help people understand content of the BBI report saying there is a lot of misinformation out there that made people to be suspicious of the document.
Wahome said those going round saying he was not supporting BBI are those who he has been exposing for their corrupt deeds.
On claims that some Nyandarua MCAs were planning to impeach him, Wahome dared them to bring the motion.
“Impeachment is lawful and evidence must be presented. I am not aware of such a motion since it has not been presented to the Clerk and discussed,” the Speaker said.
Nyandarua people are divided down the middle as bickering between Wahome and Governor Francis Kimemia raise political temperature in the County as the 2022 General Election approaches.
Wahome accuses Kimemia of doing nothing with the County budget apart from paying salaries and allowance while the Governor suspect the Speaker is among people scheming for his downfall.