A public hearing called by the Garissa County Assembly’s Implementation and Legal Affairs Committee on the race to push the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) driven constitutional amendment Bill 2020, was met with mixed reactions ahead of the crucial vote tomorrow.
While those in support cite increase in allocation of resources to the counties, those opposed claim contrary opinion saying it was unattainable.
The Kenya Livestock Marketing Council chair Dubat Amey urged the residents to look at the bigger picture noting that the BBI report that was a result of the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga ‘was generally a good document’.
Amey who singled out resource allocation to counties as a plus, told the residents not to be misled by naysayers who have termed as unrealistic the increment of resources from 15 percent to 35 percent.
“With a thriving economy where all loopholes through which public money are swindled will have been sealed by the BBI recommendations, we can even surpass this figure,” Amey said.
“We are aware that those who have been beneficiaries of looting of public funds are the ones opposing the BBI by misleading the public. Our biggest undoing as a country is corruption. We are told that a third of the Kenyan budget is stolen. If we can save this money from being looted, the 35 percent is attainable,” he added.
Majority of those opposed to the document wondered how Nairobi County would get 12 constituencies while the entire North Eastern region got only one.
“Can anyone really convince me why I should support the document that has glaring disparities knowing very well that resources and representation go hand in hand,” said Abdi Hassan.
“We are here critiquing the document and raising our reservations but I am sorry to say this is a predetermined process. Our leaders should stop taking us for a ride,” Hassan added.
Chair of the Implementation Committee Abdirahaman Mohamed said he had communicated to the Clerk for the Assembly to have a special meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) where members will have the opportunity to deliberate on the bill before voting for, or against.
“As the chair I can confidently say that the mood among the MCAs is a yes for the Bill,” Mohamed said.
Masalani MCA Abubakar Shide who is among those opposed to the document said ‘they will pass it but there is nothing much to celebrate’.
“We are doing this just for the respect of our elder the late senator Mohamed Yussuf Haji who hails from my Ward. In all honesty this is a document that has little to offer the residents of North Eastern region,” said Shide .
So far, 12 County Assemblies among them Nairobi County have given a nod to the BBI bill 2020 with Baringo opposing it.
According to political pundits, the fact that Garissa governor Ali Korane is the North Eastern regional BBI coordinator and the late senator having been the chair, the three counties ‘will most likely pass the bill’.
The late Garissa senator who passed away on Monday at the Aga Khan University hospital was the chair of the BBI taskforce.
by Jacob Songok