Nairobi MCAs puts Aukot’s ‘Punguza Migizo’ Bill to public participation
The Punguza Migizo Constitutional Amendment Bill is set to go for public participation in Nairobi County after MCAs differed on whether to reject or approve it.
This comes after the acting County Assembly Speaker Chege Mwaura directed that the Bill be taken to residents to ventilate their views about it as well as members given a chance to consult with the residents.
TO REJECT OR PASS
Mr Mwaura said the Justice and Legal Affairs committee will be tasked with the collection of residents’ views before tabling back a report before the House before the assembly proceeds to approve or reject the Ekuru Aukot’s led Thirdway Alliance party’s Bill.
To this effect, the county will be divided into at least four or five zones for the public participation.
“We wanted a different case for Nairobi where the bill will be passed based on the voters’ views as we don’t want just to reject or pass the Bill like in some other counties,” said Mr Mwaura on Wednesday.
“We want to hear what Nairobi residents have to say on the Bill. As elected members representing them, it is prudent to also get their input. Thereafter, the House business committee will allocate time and date the Bill shall be debated on the floor,” he added.
However, the Ngara Ward MCA did not give any timeline on when the public participation exercise is planned to start and when it is scheduled to end.
In July, the Bill was deliberated on by the MCAs with a resolution that a notice of motion be introduced in the Assembly by the majority leader.
But the bid by Mr Aukot to popularize the initiative at the assembly that July got a jolt after MCAs aligned to ODM boycotted the session.
This was after both sides of the House took a different view on the Bill with ODM party members vowing to knock down the Bill while their Jubilee counterparts being open to the Bill.
AGAINST THE BILL
At the time, Minority Whip, Peter Imwatok, made it clear that their party’s position on the Bill is clear – the party is against the initiative and so by attending the session they would be going against their party’s position.
The hard stance has not changed with Minority Leader Elias Otieno and Mr Imwatok maintaining their earlier stance terming the initiative “just a collection of signatures and not consultations from Kenyans.”
“As the Opposition, we stand from where we left before the recess. Our party has already taken a position and that is Punguza Mizigo is not good for Kenyans,” said Mr Otieno.
On his part, Mr Imwatok accused Aukot of being sponsored by Deputy President William Ruto to serve his individual interests, unlike the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which, according to him, is a popular initiative.
SUPPORTING THE BILL
“This is politics and if he plays his we are also going to play ours. At the end of the day, the Punguza Mizigo Bill is not a public derive initiative but individual,” said the Makongeni Ward MCA.
The stance taken by ODM MCAs is in contrast with their counterparts from the Jubilee party a majority of whom have supported the Bill.
Led by Majority Leader, Abdi Guyo, the MCAs rallied their colleagues, both from the opposition and the undecided ones, to vote in favour of the Bill.
“Let us not confuse individual views as the party stand. I have been selected by the party to oversee the Bill and also rally my friends from the opposition into accepting the Bill,” said Mr Guyo.