Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly speaker Philemon Sabulei has given the Sports, Youth and Gender committee a one week ultimatum to table the youth, women and persons with disability fund 2018 bill for second reading.
The order comes after the committee chair Winnie Kanda (nominated) sought to postpone the tabling of the bill for the second time in two weeks saying the committee needed to consult and get more input from members.
The speaker expressed concern over the post-poning of the bill saying it was taking long before it is tabled for a second reading despite having gone through public participation.
The bill which has raised a lot of interest both within and outside the assembly and which is the first since election seeks to establish a sh.40 million revolving fund to disburse loans to youths, women and those living with disability at an interest of 2%.
According to the bill, each of the county’s 20 wards will get sh.2 million which will be disbursed to the said groups who intend to start an income generating activity or already have one with the loan being repayable within two years from when it was issued.
The bill has raised a lot of interest in the county with members of the public claiming in social media that divisions within the members of the assembly had led to the delay in the tabling of the bill.
Speaking when she sought the extension, the chair confirmed the infighting among members as she called upon them to own the bill and pass it for the sake of the residents and ignore their divisions.
“I am very passionate about this bill and that is why I have sought an extension so that as leaders we can consult. We cannot allow the bill to be thrown out just because we have our own differences,” Ms. Kanda said.
Giving his ruling, the speaker expressed concern that the report on the bill which has already gone for public participation is yet to be adopted by the committee due to lack of quorum.
He said the bill was to be tabled two weeks ago but a similar request was given leading to its postponement.
He said the bill had already been distributed to members for them to give their views adding that during public participation members also had a chance to do the same.
“Given the time it has taken and the nature of interest the bill is generating, and noting that this house has a critical interest in the bill, further consultation should not exceed a period of one week,” the speaker ruled.
He said the house business committee will ensure that the bill is tabled on or before November 14th next week.
The speaker also called on members to stop using social media to conduct house business after Jonah Korir (Soy South) sought the protection of the speaker saying that some members were using youths to malign their names on WhatsApp groups over the bill.
By Alice Wanjiru