Isiolo Woman Rep Rehema Jaldesa has called for a total suspension of the process initiated to popularise the proposed constitutional changes through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) initiative, saying that the government should instead commit the time and resources towards containing the Covid-19 pandemic.
The legislator said the BBI exercise is not an emergency and can therefore wait until the war against the pandemic that has claimed over 1,000 lives in Kenya — among them frontline health workers and politicians — is won.
She said the government should concentrate on reviving the adversely affected economy and assist Kenyans and traders, reeling from the effects of the disease, to get back on their feet and provide for their families.
“The government should concentrate on important national issues such as Covid-19 and cushion Kenyans struggling to put food on the table. We should not just suspend the collection of signatures but the entire process,” said Ms Jaldesa.
“We are opposing the BBI because it is being popularised at the wrong time. We cannot allow reggae to be sung on top of graves,” she added.
Ms Jaldesa took issues with some BBI proposals, especially the scrapping of the woman rep’s seat. She also claimed that if the report is implemented, it will see a slash of Isiolo County’s budget allocation by at least Sh1.2 billion.
With all sectors affected by the disease and county governments struggling to pay their workers, Ms Jaldesa said the country cannot afford a referendum and suggested that if necessary, the same be done during the 2022 general elections to cut on costs.
The MP said in line with its core objective of enhancing unity and harmony among Kenyans, the BBI report should be all-inclusive and that the issues raised by leaders — regardless of their political affiliation — and Kenyans at large, should be looked into.
Ms Jaldesa spoke when she launched the distribution of 4,000 sanitary towels for school girls in Isiolo, Garbatulla and Merti areas at her office in Isiolo town. The project seeks to ensure that girls remain comfortable while in school.
“The sanitary pads are meant to ensure the girls in Class Four and Eight and those in Form Four are comfortable while in school to prevent them from engaging in weird activities to buy the basic provisions,” the MP said.
The MP also gave a personal donation of ovens and microwaves to five groups and car washing machines to 10 women and youth groups donated by Deputy President William Ruto.
Among the groups that benefited from the car wash machines is One Vision Self-Help Group, Nyakweri Youth Group, Amana Youth Self-Help Group, Karioko Mixed Youth Group, Galaxy group and Juhudi Youth Group.
“The support is meant to ensure our youths and women, who have been adversely affected by the pandemic, earn income and are back on their feet,” the MP said.
Mercy Edukan of Kulamawe youth group that benefited from the ovens donation, said they intend to start a small scale cake bakery shop whose proceeds they will put in a savings plan for future investment.
“The oven will be of great help to us. We will at least be able to earn some income during these difficult times,” said Ms Edukan.