Residents of Kiatineni village in Ndithini ward, Masinga Sub County were an elated lot Wednesday as they played host to the second County Assembly mobile plenary session.
Members of the public in their hundreds got the first feel of how their ward reps transact house business for them with proceedings beamed live on giant screens mounted inside makeshift public galleries.
On Tuesday the County Assembly Director of Procedures, Matthew Muange while addressing the press said they had put up comprehensive mechanisms to ensure the sessions go on uninterrupted.
The decision to prop up security followed ugly skirmishes that were witnessed at Kithimani, in Yatta Sub County last year when hooligans stormed a similar session and disrupted the proceedings for sometimes before Police were called in to restore order.
All those who attended the sitting otherwise known as “Bunge Mashinani” were thoroughly frisked before they could be allowed into the venue.
Members of the county assembly intend to use the sessions to create public awareness on the business of the house.
MCAs used the occasion to pass three crucial motions, including a proposed amendment to the Finance and Revenue Collection Committee on the Implementation of the Machakos County Finance Act 2019.
While moving the motion, Ikalakala ward rep, Stephen Mwanthi faulted the executive for what he termed a lopsided implementation of the act leading to unfair imposition of taxes on residents.
He also accused the county government of having implemented the act long before it was officially published, a move that seriously hurt small scale businesses.
Residents of Ndithini also had a reason to smile after the house passed a motion recommending the upgrading of the Ndithini Health center to a level three facility.
The motion which was sponsored by the area ward representative, Patrick Kituku also wants the government to ensure the facility is fully equipped and provided with enough trained staff to help serve the people of the area.
Florence Muia, a resident of the area lauded the move by the legislators to take their sittings to the area after being sidelined for l ong by subsequent governments with little to write home about. She however, called upon Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua to sink more boreholes in the area to meet the demands of the growing population.
The plenary sessions were finally adjourned after 3 pm with County Speaker, Florence Mwangangi giving the MCAs a three-week recess until June 18 when the ward reps are expected to resume sittings.
Mwangangi says they intend to take the proceedings to all the eight sub counties before the end of the Assembly’s five–year term.
The model of Bunge Mashinani sittings is anchored on Article 196(1) of the Constitution of Kenya which mandates a county assembly to ‘conduct its business in an open manner, and hold its sittings and those of its committees, in public and in so doing facilitate public participation.
By Samuel Maina/Lydia Mueni