More than 10 county assemblies on Tuesday passed the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill in what Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga earlier said would be a "Super Tuesday".
Murang'a Mombasa, Lamu, Nyeri and Makueni, Taita Taveta and Migori county assemblies were among those that endorsed the draft unanimously.
Kakamega ward representatives approved the Bill with only two out of the 89 MCAs voting against the draft, while in Kiambu, approval was by 92 out of 93 MCAs.
In Kakamega, the two who objected to the Bill were Mr Farouk Machanje (Isukha South ward) and Mr Timothy Aseka (Nominated).
In Murang'a County, all the 53 ward representatives endorsed the draft unanimously.
The MCAs cited proposed an additional constituency in the county, increased revenue share and empowerment through Ward Development Fund for their support.
Speaker Nduati Kariuki and Governor Mwangi wa Iria termed the session as "historical and monumental”.
In Tharaka Nithi, all the 20 MCAs voted yes for the Bill.
In Nyeri, only Konyu MCA Erick Wamumbi and Chinga's Kiruga Thuku voted no in a heated session, saying if implemented the country’s wage bill would increase to accommodate the increased number of MPs.
In Mombasa county, at least 40 Members of the County Assembly attended the session and passed the Bill.
Justice and Legal Affairs Committee chairperson Amriya Juma Boy moved the motion of the BBI report which she said had been discussed in all the six sub counties in Mombasa.
She said the process was participatory and residents raised concerns which were addressed.
Airport MCA Ibrahim Omondi termed the passing of the Bill as memorable and historic.
He said MCAs will be the greatest beneficiaries because there will be the provision of ward development funds.
"It is important that we stop the propaganda that has been going on. The BBI is like a beautiful girl who has been born from the village," said Mr Omondi.
Old Town MCA Murfad Amur said the report will benefit the Coast region because of the provision of additional constituencies which he added will allow the region to get more resources.
"What we are passing today will be for the benefit of our generations. The dynamics of medical services will change also," he said.
Nominated MCA Ramla Said, who is representing people living with disabilities, said she supports the BBI as it will address issues affecting the people she represents.
"There is also the issue of small businesses will not be taxed for seven years and that will benefit the youth. We will also be able to choose our own representatives instead of being chosen for," she said.
In Taita Taveta, the Bill tabled by majority leader Harris Keke was unanimously passed by the 29 out of 33 members present.
They gave reasons including more development funds and the safety of Taveta, Wundanyi and Mwatate constituencies, which risk being scrapped for not meeting the population criterion.
"This would mean the loss of millions of shillings that come to us through the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF)," Mr Keke said.
In addition, the county receives Sh4.5 billion but with the amendments, it expects to receive Sh7 billion of the national revenue.
Deputy Speaker Chripus Tondoo said the Bill will benefit residents since millions of shillings will be available for development under the Ward Development Fund.
Minority leader Ronald Sagurani said the ward kitty should be expanded.
"I propose that NG-CDF be scrapped so that the ward fund can get enough money for more development to be realised ... for devolution purposes," he said.
MCA Rose Shingira said the Sh2 million car grant is not a bribe for ward representatives to pass the Bill as senators and MPs also benefit from them.
Taveta MP Naomi Shaban said saving the constituencies would be a big achievement for the county.
Governor Granton Samboja congratulated the county assembly for passing the Bill.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro and Assembly Speaker Stephen Ndichu attended the BBI debate that kicked off at 2pm .
Only Kiambu Town MCA Anthony Ikonya, a close ally of impeached Governor Ferdinand Waititu, voted ‘no’.
He said his decision was based on the fact that Kenya has more pressing issues to address, like the economic recovery matter following the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, so it is not necessary to spend billions on a referendum.
Those who voted ‘yes’ gave reasons including the allocation of more resources to counties as well as the seven-year tax holiday for new enterprises for the youth.
Kiambu’s Jubilee Party caucus chair and Biashara Ward Representative, Mr Elijah Njoroge, cited the ease of doing business and more resources for the county, which is expected to get an additional six constituencies.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro praised the ward reps for passing the Bill, saying it demonstrated their support for President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Meru County Assembly endorsed the BBI Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 with Justice and Legal Affairs committee chairman Kinyua Turibu saying residents of 10 out of 11 sub-counties had expressed support for the Bill during public participation forums.
Only two MCAs, Elias Murega (Municipality) and Peter Kalembe (Ruiri Rwarera) opposed the Bill, terming it an attempt to mutilate the Constitution.
Majority of the MCAs cited proposals to establish a ward fund, increase devolved funds, appointment of executive members from MCAs and equitable distribution of resources as some of the sweeteners of the BBI Bill.
In Kirinyaga, MCAS unanimously endorsed the Bill which they described as the best for the residents.
In a show of unity Governor Anne Waiguru was present in the Assembly and keenly listened to the debate on the Bill. She later lauded the MCAS for the work well done.
"I have gone through the Bill and I am satisfied that it is good for us," the Majority Leader Kamau Murango said.
MCAS dismissed claims that they had passed the Bill after they were promised a Sh2 Million car grant each.
"We have not been lured to endorse the Bill. We know that our people will benefit enormously and that is why we have voted for it," added Mr Murango.
In Nyandarua county, the ward reps unanimously passed the draft after some unexpected events.
Former Speaker Wahome Ndegwa was forced to walked out of the House after a Nakuru court upheld his impeachment.
Mr Wahome had moved to court claiming he was unprocedurally kemoved from office.
His deputy conducted the debate.
As the MCAs debated a power outage engulfed the chamber with some local leaders claiming there was planned sabotage because the backup generator was not functioning.
CS Sicily Kariuki and Governor Francis Kimemia attended the debate.
Narok County Assembly approved the draft with 30 elected and 17 nominated MCAs unanimously voting to endorse it.
The session was chaired by Speaker Nkoidila Ole Lankas.
The mover of the motion, Patrick Sosio, who is the chair for Justice and Legal Affairs committee said the ward representatives passed the Bill after an extensive public participation exercise.
"Apart from the positive attributes of the BBI recommendations from the assembly legal committee, we have also passed it because all proposals in the Bill are ideal and would strengthen structures of devolution," said Mr Sosio.
In Lamu, a total of 18 MCAs voted to pass the BBI Bill during a session that was chaired by Speaker Abdul Kassim Ahmed.
Speaking shortly after the Bill was approved, Mr Kassim said the assembly adhered to all laws before approving the Bill.
Mr Kassim said the ward representatives passed the highly publicised Bill following extensive public participation held last week.
“We followed all the required procedures in ensuring the BBI Bill passes in Lamu,” said Mr Kassim.
Majority Leader and mover of the motion, Abdallah Baabad, who is also the Kiunga Ward Representative said all the MCAs declared the BBI Bill as progressive and good for Lamu County in terms of development.
“All of us were satisfied with the views given by members of the public during the public participation forums held last week and which are contained in the report. We’re confident BBI will provide a long-term solution to the historical land injustices that this region has faced for decades. It will also foster development as funds to counties will be increased from the usual 15 per cent to 35 per cent,” said Mr Baabad.
Kitui, Nyamira, Machakos, Nakuru also passed the Bill.
The vote in Machakos was unanimous. Members said they are satisfied with the provisions in the Bill, especially the increase of county allocations from 15 to 35 per cent.
Muthetheni MCA Jeremiah Mutisya said a provision for the Judiciary to rotate judges after every five years will reduce corruption.
Majority Leader Mark Muendo said the Bill favoured Machakos County as three additional constituencies will be created, hence an additional Sh300 million for the Constituency Development Fund.
Speaker Florence Mwangangi said the BBI means a turning point for the country which has been suffered election violence
In Nakuru, 62 out of the 75 MCAs voted in favour of the Bill while three abstained.
Assembly Speaker Joel Kairu said the assembly considered the public's views.
“There is a false perception that the BBI will block some people from ascending to power. That is why I am asking the sponsors of the Bill to consider conducting more civic education in the regions that have opposed it,” said Mr Kairu.
The vote in Kitui was also unanimous.
Majority leader Peter Kilonzo, who moved the motion said the Assembly did not receive any memoranda from sub-counties opposed to the Bill during public participation forums.
Mr Kilonzo said the MCAs’ vote represented the will of the people.
Seconding the motion, Minority Leader Alex Nganga urged members of the National Assembly from Kitui to pursue the people's quest for additional constituencies.
He said the clamour to split Kitui into two counties is valid and should be pursued.
In Nyamira, all the 36 MCAs voted 'yes', saying the proposals are generally good for the county and the country.
Bomwagamo MCA, Mr Charles Barongo, cited the peace that followed the handshake between Mr Odinga and President Kenyatta while Magombo MCA Richard Onyinkwa spoke of the Ward Development Fund, "which will be fully controlled by MCAs, for development".
Report by Alex Njeru, Shaban Makhoha, George Sayagie, Kalume Kazungu, Mohamed Ahmed, Waikwa Maina, George Munene, David Muchui, Pius Maundu, Mwangi Muiruri, Simon Ciuri, Stephen Muthini, Joseph Openda, Benson Ayienda, Lucy Mkanyika, Kitavi Mutua