Ganze Member of Parliament Teddy Mwambire has urged the residents of the Coast region to fully support the Constitutional Amendment Referendum Bill 2020 saying the region stands to benefit from the proposals.
Mr. Mwambire said the increase in the sharable revenue to counties from 15 percent to 35 percent, the additional ten constituencies and the resultant additional wards provided for in the amendments would bring more financial resources to the region hence more development.
Mr. Mwambire, who is also the Coast Parliamentary Group Secretary, said almost all the regional leaders’ proposals to the Building Bridges Initiative Steering Committee had been captured in the final BBI report, adding that those which had not been expressly included could be handled through legislation.
“As the secretary to the Coast Parliamentary Group, I can say that the issues we were pushing as the residents of Coast region have been fully captured in the final report. What remains is for us to forge a united front to support the bill,” he said.
He urged fellow legislators from the region who are opposed to the proposals to stop misleading wananchi, but instead cooperate fully so that the laws that have been referred to Parliament are enacted as required in order to ensure that the region benefits fully from the laws.
Mr. Mwambire said this Tuesday after a whirlwind tour of Sokoke and Ganze wards where he conducted ground breaking ceremonies for the construction of three National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) projects worth Sh21 million.
The projects included the construction of five classrooms worth Sh6 million at Sokoke secondary school, the construction of the proposed Vitengeni Police Station estimated to cost Sh10 million and a modern ablution block within the girls’ dormitory at Jila Mixed Secondary School expected to cost Sh5 million.
He urged leaders to stop listening to residents of other region but instead listen to and fight for the rights of the Coastal people, noting that the leaders opposed to the referendum push were busy listening to people from other regions.
“We need to listen to the residents of Coast region. The people of the Coast region said they wanted certain things, which were included in the BBI report and we need to push till we get them,” he said.
The legislator said, “For example the issue regarding the Blue Economy has been captured in the BBI report and this region stands to benefit because we have a large coastline. What we need as leaders in this region is to unite and pass the requisite laws for our benefit.”
He said this would be possible if all the 38 National Parliament legislators from the region forge a united front in pushing for the enactment of the bills.
He announced that the CPG would Thursday meet with the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture to discuss in detail about coconut and cashew nut farming.
“We want to also push for laws on horticulture, which if done well can raise the economy of this region, but this can only be possible if we make the laws as a united team,” he said.
He said after Kenyans vote for the referendum, the next focus would be to look at what national positions Coast leaders would get, saying, “The people of the coast region have numerical advantage and they should no longer be taken for granted.”
By Emmanuel Masha