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BBI drive gets a boost as Ukambani Governors pledge support

Two Governors from the Lower Eastern region have pledged to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

 This is after Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua and his Makueni counterpart Professor Kibutha Kibwna made a joint declaration to rally their respective Country assemblies to have the Bill ratified by Tuesday.

 The two who spoke at the Machakos Governor’s residence Monday said they had arrived at the decision after listening to the views from residents of their respective counties who they said felt the contents of the document would augur well with the development of their areas.

“We have the majority of MCAs on our side to push for the passing of the BBI bill when it is finally tabled in the assembly tomorrow. We have a total of 33 Ward Reps and only need at least 29 to have the bill passed. Makueni has 25 legislators while those needed to pass the bill are 22.

The ball is now on the members of the respective county assemblies to have this bill passed and, in the process, help push for more resources to the grassroots in order to uplift the lives of the common people,” said Mutua during the briefing which was also attended by 40 MCAs from Makueni and Machakos.

Mutua has similarly said as leaders from the lower Eastern region they will continue working together to uplift the economic potential of the region under the aegis of the Southern Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc (SEKEB).

The Governor told off those leading a spirited campaign to shoot down the bill saying they do not have the interests of the people at heart.

 He said some of those working hard to persuade the public to reject the new law are not elected leaders from the area and should therefore refrain from talking on behalf of the region.

“As leaders from this region, we have resolved to work together in forging a united front in bringing development to our people as outlined in the constitution. Therefore, anyone who is not a representative of this region should not stand before the public purporting to speak on behalf of the people of this region. Our people have lagged behind in development as a result of such kind of people who are out of touch with what goes on the ground,” he added.

 On his part Prof Kibwana promised to join in popularizing the BBI drive owing to the overwhelming support it has received from people on the ground.

 While acknowledging his reservation for some of the proposals contained in the document, the county boss nevertheless said he had noted a number of things that would be beneficial.

“I have been joined by my colleague Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua and MCAs from both Makueni and Machakos to deliberate on the raging constitutional amendment conversation. We agreed that MCAs should respect the will of the people who endorsed the BBI amendment proposal from the recent Public participation for Machakos and Makueni Governors pledge to pass the BBI Bill through their MCAs.

The leaders said they had consulted with Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and they had all agreed as the leadership of the South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc (SEKEB) that they will pass the Bill so as to increase grassroots development.

So far 12 counties have already adopted the bill with only Baringo county having shot it down.

Among counties that have so far adopted the Bill include Kisii, Homa Bay, Kajiado, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, and Siaya.

by Samuel Maina

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