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Busia County Assembly holds public hearings on the BBI draft bill

The Busia County Assembly is on the verge of finalizing public
hearings on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitutional
Amendment Bill, 2020 in the seven sub counties.

The public hearings are In compliance with Article 196 (1) (b) of the
Constitution of Kenya, 2010 read together with Section 87 of the
County Governments Act, 2012, and Standing Order No. 129(3).

The Busia County Assembly’s Justice and Human Rights Committee
commenced the hearings on February 9th in Bunyala and Samia Sub
Counties before moving to Nambale and Butula on February 10th.

On February 11th it was Teso South and Teso North Sub Counties turn,
with Matayos Sub County hosting the final hearing today.

In Teso North the Justice and Human Rights Committee vice-chair
Florence Ologi and the County Assembly Legal Counsel Maureen Ogombe
led the hearings with the former urging residents to always
participate in such forums where issues involving governance are

Ologi urged the public to make a proper scrutiny of the proposals in
the BBI bill and make informed decisions rather than listen to
politicians with misleading and hidden agenda.

Ogombe highlighted to participants key proposals including the
increase in constituencies from 290-360, national assembly nomination
of candidates and the new role of the Senate that will mandate it to
oversight counties besides its expansion to 94 senators (47 male and
47 female senators).

All these including creation of four special seats for people with
disabilities and other special seats for women will ensure two-third
gender rule is achieved in the National Assembly.

She also made highlights on increased equitable share to counties from
15% to 35%, creation of Youth Commission, Judiciary Ombudsman, Ward
Development Fund, leadership and integrity and inclusivity where the
executive will be expanded to have a prime minister and two deputy
prime ministers.

Participants appreciated the county for the engagement although they
regretted that the Bill is at the stage where it cannot be altered.

Chris Omuse, a resident of Malaba Central ward raised concern on the
inclusivity issue where  he said there are loopholes the president can
exploit to undermine it.

He wondered how the proposal requiring the president to appoint a
prime minister from the majority party will lead to inclusivity saying
the he might as well decide to appoint one from his region and tribe.

Ambrose Etyang, from Ang’urai North ward said the document was unfair
after failing to allocate Busia additional constituencies.

Other participants welcomed the proposal to increase the equitable
share to counties from 15% to 35% and the creation of the Ward Fund
saying the proposal will strengthen devolution, spur development and
boost the economy of counties.

by Melechezedeck Ejakait

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