Nakuru joins 7 other counties in rejecting Punguza Mzigo Bill

Thirdway Alliance Party leader Ekuru Aukot’s Punguza Mizigo bill has been rejected by the Nakuru County Assembly.

This after members of the county assembly debated and adopted a Legal and Justice Committee report that was tabled by Viwandani Ward MCA Erick Gichuki Kariuki who is the committee chair.

The Committee while tabling the report that recommended the disapproval of the Punguza Mizigo bill argued that the Bill has double standards in many f the clauses.

The committee questioned why the Bill was proposing to have members rendered not eligible to contest any seat once mentioned by any inquiry body in any case arguing that was giving too much power to the auditor General.

“The Bill proposes that if you are mentioned by any inquiry body then you will not be eligible to contest any seat. That is like giving the auditor general the power of the DCI and therefore this is a draft bill that is double standards” said Gichuki.

However, Elburgon Ward MCA Njuguna Mwaura and his Lakeview Ward counterpart Peter Karanja Mburu supported the Bill.The duo argued that the Bill would address the over representations in the county assembly and the National assembly.

MCA Mwaura adding that the Bill would also help address the issue of affirmative action by ensuring women are also elected rather than just waiting for the affirmative seats.

“The Bill will ensure we have women elected rather than waiting for the affirmative seats” said MCA Mwaura.

MCA Karanja Mburu on his part lauding Dr.EKuro Aukot for the draft bill.

According to Karanja, the over-representation in the country would only be solved through the Punguza Mzigo initiative.

“We have an opportunity through this Bill to amend the constitution and shape this nation” said Karanja.

And after several contributions of the members in the house on the Bill, Speaker Joel Maina Kairu reading the mood of the house put the acclamation question.

The majority of the members had their way hence the Bill rejected by the county assembly of Nakuru.

“Honorable members I now put the question that pursuant to the standing orders that this house adopts the report  of the Legal and Justice Committee disapproving Punguza Mizigo Bill…Will as many are of a similar opinion say I…..will as many as of a contrary opinion say Nay..The I’s have it and therefore the Bill stands rejected” stated Speaker.

And addressing media after rejecting the Bill,Nakuru MCAs led by majority leader Moses Ndunng’u faulted Dr.Aukot for not providing amendment clause in the Bill.

They said their action has also been prompted by the Nakuru residents who had also a chance on 10th September to present their memorandums on the Bill.

“We cannot pass a Bill that is contrary to the views of the common citizens who elected us and has no amendment clause. This Bill is Punguza Mzigo but in reality has nothing to do with Punguza Mizigo” said Ndung’u.

Similar sentiments echoed by Kabazi Ward MCA Dr.Peter Mbae.

According to Mbae, Nakuru electorates are not ready to merge constituencies or reduce them through the Bill hence it was rejected.

He however argues that the rejection of the Bill is also an avenue to allow going back to the drawing board.

“No resident is ready to scrap down constituencies but as leaders we are saying this is now the time to work with other stakeholders and see what we can do to amend the constitution in a proper way” said Mbae.

After the rejection of the Bill by the county assembly of Nakuru, the speaker will now officially communicate to the National Assembly as well as Senate as per the law.

Speaker Joel Maina Kairu says he will be doing so in the course of next week.

The proposed law, which is sponsored by the Thirdway Alliance party, aims to make changes, including reducing Parliament’s annual budget from Sh36.8 billion to Sh5 billion, reducing the number of Members of Parliament from 416 to 147 and introducing a seven-year one-term presidency.

At least 24 county assemblies should approve the bill for it to move to the National Assembly and the Senate for approval. If the majority of the MPs in the Houses support it, it will be presented to the President for assent.

Nakuru now joins West Pokot, Nyamira, Siaya, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a and Kisii counties to reject the Bill with only Uasin Gishu having endorsed the bill.

PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Nakuru County assembly speaker Joel Maina Kairu flanked by MCAs led by majority leader Moses Ndungu(Right) addressing media after the house rejected Punguza Mzigo Bill.

Pristone Mambili

A freelance Journalist with experience in Radio and online news writing.