Barely hours after being rejected by the Nakuru county Assembly, Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot received another shocker with Nairobi County rejecting his Punguza Mzigo Bill.
In a unanimous vote, MCAs allied to both the Jubilee and ODM this evening rejected the bill terming it unrealistic and retrogressive, and that it did not capture the views of the public during composition.
They were against the proposal to reduce the number of constituencies, the interference in the two-thirds gender rule and reducing elected representatives.
Minority chief whip Moses Ogeto said that the bill would disorganise the two-thirds gender rule that seeks to ensure gender equity in terms of representation in Parliament.
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The Kilimani ward rep was also opposed to the reduction of the MCA seats from a current 85 to 17 seats
“The merits of the Punguza Mizigo Bill are not realistic and we are telling Aukot to look for another bill that is more inclusive,” stated Ogeto.
In a record setting attendance of almost all the MCAs, the ward reps said the reducing the number of constituencies would lead to marginalisation in terms of representations.
MCA Lawrence Munga said reducing the number of constituencies would lead to a situation where only the majority tribes would elect their own at the helm of the constituencies.
Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Hassan, who moved the bill, said that the bill sought to erode the gains made by the 2010 Constitution and urged members to oppose the bill.
“Capping of the members representation in Parliament and at the assembly is a major issue .It’s not realistic to have only two representatives in counties such as Nairobi with more than four million people,” he said.
Kayole Central MCA Jeremiah Karani opposed the clause stating that one should be declared a registered voter automatically after turning 18 years and acquiring an identification card.
“My constituents were not consulted when this bill was being prepared and having gotten their views, they have requested that the bill be dispensed with since it does not contain what they want to be part of the law,” said Karani.
Roysambu MCA Peter Warutere was concerned that if the bill was passed as it is, there would be no room for change in the future thus opposed the bill.
“The bill is behaving like a jilted lover in that it has some very enticing clauses but others are too toxic necessitating for its immediate opposition,” he added.
The bill was tabled in the House after acting Assembly speaker Chege Mwaura commissioned it for public participation a fortnight ago.
Mwaura had assigned the task of collection of resident’s views to the Justice and Legal Affairs committee which then tabled a report before the House. This, he said, informed the assembly on whether to approve or reject the Bill.
“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 Mwaura.
Nairobi County now joins other Counties such as Kiambu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Siaya, Homa Bay, Murang’a and Kirinyaga that have already shot down the Bill, presenting a new headache for Aukot.
Uasin Gishu is the only county that has since passed the bill. This presents a major hurdle for Aukot who requires 24 counties to assent to the bill in order for it to be tabled in parliament and consequently result in a plebiscite.
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