• Ward representatives say bill does not give details about issues it has proposed
The Nyeri county assembly has rejected the Punguza Mizigo Bill, saying it was the decision of residents during public participation meetings.
They said the bill sponsored by the Ekuru Aukot led Thirdway Alliance Party was rejected for proposing the scrapping of the position of deputy governor, merging of constituencies and proposing that the presidential term be reduced to one of seven years.
The assembly's Legal Committee chairman Michael Karumba while presenting the motion on Wednesday said residents rejected the bill during public participation meeting held in all the eight subcounties.
The Mwiyogo/Endarasha MCA said residents were not comfortable with the proposal to extend the presidential term by two years.
“The bill does not clearly lay out a transition strategy. So what if this bill passes? Does it mean that Uhuru Kenyatta who has already served for seven years will retire or vacate office,” Karumba said.
“Or will he vie afresh for another seven-year-term or his current term will be extended by another two years?”
He said the bill was a recipe for disaster.
Residents also took issues with its heading and theme saying though it was appealing to Kenyans, the contents were different.
Karumba said the bill talks about the creation of Ward Fund but does not lay out the details.
"The proposal that constituencies become ward led to people in areas like Kieni who want their constituency split to reject the bill," Karumba said.
Dedan Kimathi MCA Gibson Wahinya, a member of the committee, cited the proposal to merge constituencies so that voters elect a man and a woman and use the county as a unit of parliamentary elections.
“The challenge is that they do not tell us that apart from MPs, what will happen to other government officers who work at the constituency level,” Wahinya said.
On the scrapping of the DG post, he cited Nyeri which has had the experience of losing two governors in a year saying was it the case, Nyeri would have been in a campaign mode for the seven years of devolution.
“If this was the law that we would have been using, then we would have had four elections in seven years and so ideally in every two years, we would have had an election. I do not think development is attainable in such an environment where the county would have been campaigning throughout,” he said.
He said Aukot should have taken views of the public first and use them to make recommendations.
Ruring'u MCA Samuel Kariuki said there will be the issue of underrepresentation in a county like Nyeri with a population of more than one million having only two representatives in Parliament when a county like Lamu with much less being represented by a similar number of lawmakers.
edited by peter obuya