The push by Thirdway Alliance to amend the Constitution suffered a setback in Kitui County on Tuesday when members of the public rejected the Punguza Mizigo Bill 2019 during a public participation exercise.
Speaking after leading the members of the public through the contents of the bill at Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) Kitui Campus, the Kitui County Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman, Nelson Musyoka said the public unanimously rejected the bill in totality.
“The members of the public are categorical in their decision which will form part of the report to be tabled before the floor of the house soon. Reading the mood of the public, the house will definitely reject the bill,” said Musyoka.
The Voo/Kyamatu Ward representative said that the Punguza Mizigo bill is weighing heavily on former presidential hopeful and Thirdway Alliance Party Leader Ekuru Aukot saying that parts of the bill were contentious.
“You cannot amend the bill. The public disagreed on the number of representatives. They do not want to reduce the number through the scrapping of positions such as County Woman MP,” he said.
The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chair said that wananchi disagreed with the clause that ‘A person convicted and found guilty of corruption or theft of public resources or money shall serve a life sentence,’ saying it is against human rights.
Musyoka noted that the public was jittery on the proposal to abolish the 290 constituencies by adopting and using each of the 47 counties as a single constituency for purposes of parliamentary election to Senate and National Assembly.
“The public wants to be represented well. The county has been marginalized over the years. They want the elected leaders to perform their duties without interference,” he added.
If the Punguza Mizigo bill gets adopted by more than 24 County Assemblies, it will then be forwarded to Parliament where it will be subjected to debate.
If the County Assembly and the Parliament pass the Punguza Mizigo bill then it will be awaiting the President’s consent to get it passed into law.
Musyoka said that the battle for the bill remains at the floor of the house before forwarding the certificate of the outcome to the National Assembly and Senate for ratification.
But in Meru, the Third Way Alliance Party leader, Dr. Ekuru Aukot put up a brave face when he urged all Kenyans to read through the Punguza Mizigo Bill which is at its public participation stage objectively for them to realise its intended good.
During his meeting with the Meru County Assembly members, Dr. Aukot lashed at those whom he accused of misleading Kenyans by saying there were other bills asking for the change of the Constitution.
He argued that as per the Constitution, there was only one bill that has gone through the due process of the law calling even the media to conduct research on the constitutional change process saying there were two ways of conducting to the process which is popular initiative and through Parliament.
Aukot said BBI and Ugatuzi Initiative being talked about had not been presented anywhere hence the only referendum bill is Punguza Mizigo.
He lauded the Punguza Mizigo Bill saying if it goes through, then the country is set to benefit hugely noting that there has been a lot of wastage of public resources through graft.
“We have received information that some people are asking members of the public leading questions that are negative in nature to try to get the impression that the public has rejected the bill. They are not allowing members of the public to give their own views,” said Aukot.
He urged leaders to impartially look into the bill so as to analyse its merits or demerits to help make informed decisions that they could either approve or reject instead of negatively influencing others.
By KNA Team