What you need to know:
- Already Busia, Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Kajiado and Kisii County Assemblies have endorsed the draft.
- Vihiga County Assembly Speaker, Ms Hasna Mudeizi, will now send the Bill to the speakers of the National Assembly and Senate.
Vihiga County Assembly on Thursday became the ninth county to pass the Building Bridges Initiative (Constitutional Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The county ward representatives unanimously voted in favour of the Bill, adding the county to the fast growing number of devolved units endorsing it.
Already Busia, Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia and Kajiado County Assemblies have endorsed the draft that is seeking to alter the Constitution 2010.
So far, only Baringo County assembly shot down the Bill as the proponents seek the magic number of 24 counties to force the holding of a plebiscite.
Public participation process
Vihiga County Assembly Speaker, Ms Hasna Mudeizi, will now send the Bill to the speakers of the National Assembly and Senate after it was endorsed by the ward representatives.
Ms Mudeizi said the Bill was subjected to a public participation process that ran last week across the five constituencies of Sabatia, Vihiga, Hamisi, Emuhaya and Luanda.
She said views of the locals were collected while at the same time the public was sensitised about contents of the bill.
Justice and Legal and Affairs Committee chairman Wimsey Osore tabled the BBI Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 before the 38-member House.
"The Bill was tabled and committed to the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee. Public memorandum was called and public participation was held. We complied with the provisions of the law," said Ms Mudeizi.
While presenting the report of the committee in the House, Mr Osore said through the Bill, MCAs will get their own kitty to fund development at their wards.
This, he said, will ensure more funding at the grassroots especially after the proposed law offers 35 per cent of the shareable revenue be allocated to the counties.
Mr Osore further said the bill is creating room for peace and unity in the country.
"Our past elections have been marred with violence. This has led to displacement of people and violence in the country," said Mr Osore.
"This (displacement of people and violence) happened despite Kenya having a fairly progressive Constitution that was enacted in 2010," he added.
He was seconded by Lugaga/Wamuluma ward representative Mr Victor Ijaika.
The session was attended by Governor Wilber Ottichilo and several senior executive officials.
Mr Ijaika dismissed reports that MCAs were demanding too much in exchange for support of the proposed law changes.
He noted that their senior party leaders had endorsed the process and thus they were bound to stand by the decision.
Mr Ijaika also said the decision to give MCAs car grants is their right and not a bribe.
"Even the MPs opposed to MCAs getting a car grant have themselves received the same. If it is a bribe, let them return the Grant's they received. They are holding the president (Uhuru Kenyatta) back as he seeks to drive the country forward," said Mr Ijaika.
Minority Leader Mr Tom Atingo, an ally of Deputy President William Ruto, said he is in support of the Bill so as to allow it proceed to the referendum stage and enable voters make a decision.
"This country belongs to Kenyans and they donate power to democratically elected representatives. We belong to different parties and that is democracy. I am a well-known supporter of the Deputy President. I will not just take a decision based on my political standing," said Mr Atingo.
"If I stand here to oppose, I will be doing injustice to the people I represent. They asked me to allow the BBI bill to go down to them to enable them decide at the referendum and that is why I support," added Mr Atingo, the Luanda Town MCA.