Debate on BBI report to dominate assemblies’ agenda

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021 00:00 |
Assembly Speaker Elisha Oraro.

Building Bridges Initiative constitutional amendment Bill debate is expected to dominate proceedings of various county assemblies scheduled to resume sittings today after a long Christmas break.

The assemblies, some of which have already convened Special Sittings to have the Bill tabled are expected to make a decision on it before it is submitted to Parliament.

Siaya County Assembly has already passed it, setting the stage for others to follow suit.

In Kisumu, Ward Reps are expected to debate the Bill and consider approving it when they resume sittings.

On Tuesday last week, the assembly convened a Special Sitting where the BBI draft Bill was tabled and read for the first time before being committed to Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.

The committee then conducted public participation on the Bill on Friday to pave way for final debate in the House.

Yesterday, Majority Leader Kenneth Onyango told People Daily that deliberations on the Bill will be the main business on the order paper of the first House sitting today.

“We will definitely fast-track transactions on the BBI Bill and approve it,” said Onyango.

 Assembly Speaker Elisha Oraro said the Bill, 2020 will be brought back for debate once members of the public get a chance to give their views.

“In the plenary sitting the Bill will not go through amendments. Members will only have an opportunity to vote either in support or against the proposals,” Oraro said.

In Homa Bay, the assembly has reduced the number of public participation days for the Bill. It is expected it will be presented for debate on Thursday.

In North Rift, assemblies have already embarked on debating the Bill despite area governors vowing to have it shot down.

Uasin Gishu County Assembly speaker David Kiplagat yesterday said the assembly will debate the document and carry out public participation bit, saying BBI was not a priority at the moment.

“There are more pertinent issues affecting the country at the moment besides BBI push including addressing the Covid-19 pandemic. 

We will debate the document.  Politics should, however, not be dragged into this issue,” said Kiplagat. 

MCAs in Baringo vowed to reject the BBI Bill once it is tabled before the House. Outspoken Tenges MCA Silas Tochim and his Bartabwa ward counterpart Reuben Chepsongol said the document was not a priority at the moment. 

 Chepsongol  noted they already  read the document but said, “their decision will be based as what the Deputy President William Ruto says.” 

Akisema tupitishe tutapitisha.  Akisema tuangushe tutaangusha,”  said Mr Chepsongol who is also the Majority Whip. 

Baringo Assembly Speaker David Kiplagat said his they are yet to receive the document. 

“We shall deal with it within the 90-day period, “ said Kiplagat. 

In Trans Nzoia, Ward Reps will reconvene today with BBI being the first on the order paper.

Assembly Speaker Joshua Werunga said they will discuss the document before passing it. Reporting by Wycliff Kipsang, David Musundi and Noven Owiti

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