What you need to know:
- The Bill requires the approval of 24 counties before being presented to the National Assembly and later be subjected to a national referendum.
- Kisii County has been at the centre of the BBI agenda, having hosted two major functions for its actualisation.
Kisii County Assembly has passed the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020, becoming the eighth assembly to pass the Bill crucial in the actualisation of the Building Bridges Initiative, (BBI).
Trans Nzoia, Kajiado, West Pokot, Busia, Siaya, Kisumu and Homa Bay county assemblies have already passed the Bill.
Siaya county made his history as the first county assembly to pass the Bill two weeks ago, followed by Kisumu and Homa Bay.
The Bill requires the approval of 24 counties before being presented to the National Assembly and later be subjected to a national referendum.
Kisii County has been at the centre of the BBI agenda, having hosted two major functions for its actualisation.
In February last year, the county hosted leaders from Nyanza being the first region to congregate and take a common stand in validation of the initial BBI report.
Interestingly, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM party leader Raila Odinga received the final BBI report in Kisii last October, a notable coincidence.
Bill unanimously passed
“We unanimously passed the Bill. We are happy to be part of this historic event of amending our constitution,” said Kisii County Assembly Acting Speaker Amos Onderi.
Assembly Majority Leader Timothy Ogugu who chaired the committee which considered the Bill tabled it before the House where 68 members voted unanimously to adopt it.
Kisii Governor James Ongwae who together with the MCAs addressed the media at the County headquarters after the Bill was passed said he was happy that the Bill has been taken through the right procedures including public participation.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate members of the Kisii County Assembly for passing the Bill seeking to undertake amendments in the constitution of Kenya through a popular initiative in line with the BBI,” said Mr Ongwae.
The process is aimed at making amendments to the Constitution in a bid to address the nine-point agenda emanating from the BBI following the March 9, 2018 handshake between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, culminating in a Draft Bill to amend the constitution through a popular initiative.
“As leaders from this region, we have committed to support the process which the BBI will bring forth since the recommendations already fronted will ultimately offer a solution to the problems ailing the country as summarised in the nine-point agenda,” said Mr Ongwae.
The county chief noted that they have taken up the task to mobilise registered voters throughout the county to help actualise the constitutional amendment in the forthcoming Referendum.
“This is to help support the quest for the country to realise the dream envisaged in the BBI towards a united, peaceful, cohesive, democratic and prosperous Kenya,” noted Mr Ongwae.
proposed constitutional changes
The constitutional amendment recognises and seeks to entrench and promote ethnic harmony and shared prosperity.
Through the amendment, counties are set to receive at least 35 percent of the sharable revenues from national government, up from 15 percent.
The proposed Ward Development Fund will see more resources for development allocated directly to the ward level.
“Ultimately, the changes in our laws and the constitution will help improve our governance system to enhance service delivery to all Kenyans,” said Mr Ongwae.
The BBI Bill proposes the expansion of the national executive by adding the Office of the Prime Minister and two deputies.
Mr Ongwae said, “Once again, I thank members of the county assembly for passing this amendment proposal, making us to join the league of right thinking counties who are partnering with the President and the former Prime Minister to ensure devolution is strengthened going into the future.”
He urged all members of the Kisii community to continue rallying behind President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga by supporting the proposed constitutional changes by Voting Yes in the imminent Referendum.