BBI roots for more county funds, reformed electoral agency

Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative report at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on October 26, 2020.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • One of the popular proposals is the increase from 15 to 35 per cent as the minimum amount of the latest audited accounts of the national government that will go to the counties.
  • The Kenya Sign Language Bill 2020 will be fast-tracked while needs of victims of historical injustices have been addressed.

Constitutional experts have urged politicians to stop spreading misinformation about the Building Bridges Initiative report that was unveiled at the Bomas of Kenya yesterday.

The BBI steering committee vice-chairman, Dr Adams Oloo, said it reflects the views of a majority of Kenyans despite opposition from allies of Deputy President William Ruto.

“This was a participatory process and reflective of views of a majority of Kenyans. The country has been at war with itself and needs time to heal, hence the BBI recommendations,” he said.

One of the popular proposals is the increase from 15 to 35 per cent as the minimum amount of the latest audited accounts of the national government that will go to the counties.

Eradicate wastage

“This will spur development in the counties. There is also the ward development fund that will boost resources at the grassroots. Then there is the prompt payment Bill that proposes the payment of invoices for government deliveries within 60 days and the four-year moratorium for the students who took the Higher Education Loans Board,” said Tom Macharia, a constitutional lawyer.

“Resource allocation to counties shall be based on efforts by counties to eradicate wastages,” he added.

To boost equality, the governor and his or her deputy shall be persons of different genders. However, its implementation shall be tricky considering that there is no proposed legislation to it. For prudent use of public resources, the Controller of Budget is to ensure not more than 35 per cent of national and county government budget is spent on salaries, benefits and allowances.

The report has four parts that are critical in its implementation – the policy guide, administrative, statutory and constitutional section. With the exception of the constitutional phase, the others do not require a referendum.

TJRC report

A governance expert, Mr Paddy Onyango, said legislation needs to be changed to ensure the recommendations are implemented. The Kenya Sign Language Bill 2020 will be fast-tracked while needs of victims of historical injustices have been addressed.

In his State of the Nation address on March 26, 2015, President Kenyatta had apologised for historical injustices suffered by Kenyans and directed the Treasury to establish the Restorative Justice Fund.

“The proposed Reparative and Restorative Justice Bill 2020 will address all historical injustices as covered under the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission,” said Mr Onyango.

“This will be implemented within a time-frame and includes the Wagalla massacre, extra-judicial killings, among others,” he said.

Interestingly, the TJRC report tabled in the National Assembly more than eight years ago is yet to be debated. It therefore means that for such historical injustices to be addressed, Parliament must fast-track the TJRC report.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.