The Makueni We Want Movement has directed all Ukambani Counties to veto the Punguza Mzigo bill once tabled in their respective Assemblies ahead of the October deadline or face the wrath of voters in subsequent polls. They warned that it is fashioned against the community’s development agenda by taking legislative representation out of the reach of a villager.
The vocal civil society group hit out at the Third Alliance Party sponsored bill claiming that it wasn’t pegged on constitutionalism. According to the lobby the said bill seeks to take away most benefits the Kibaki,Kalonzo and Raila Grand Coalition Government worked hard to institute without involving Kenyans as required by law.
“For any group to frame referendum questions in an extensive bill seeking to mutate multiple constitutional
issues, it calls for an elaborate public participation and expert input to tackle any complexities” urgued Musoma the lobby’s patron.
The youthful political activist blamed the drafters of the bill for overstepping their mandate by assuming the role of the Kenyan citizenry in shaping the country’s laws and governance structures. According to him any law that directly affects the bill of rights cannot be dealt on by few individuals on a coffee date noting that Ekuru Aukot and his team have already locked out Kenyans since the day they submitted their bill to IEBC before conducting public participation.
He warned that despite obtaining the required signatures and a court order to proceed with the exercise, it will be unlawful for any county to use resources on a dubious programme. He said that it was uncalled for and amounts to wastage of public funds since the opinions obtained at this stage wouldn’t be capture in the final draft bill.
“This bill was unprocedural and dead on arrival,no amount of public participation can change a chapter,a line,a word, a fullstop or even a comma coz the bill is already gazetted by the electoral body” he lamented.
The lobby further noted that the bill is sugar coated with the narrative of relieving a ballooning wage bill to rob Kenyan youth, women and people living with disability leadership opportunities through nominations. “If you are not on the negotiation table you will be in the menu. A time comes when you need someone to bang the table on your behalf. When that time comes who will defend your interest in the event that no youth, woman and a pwd makes it in ballot?” he posed.
The former Makueni Parliamentary Aspirant called on Makueni, Machakos and Kitui County Assembly leaderships to act swiftly and not be lured by the promise of huge allocations to counties yet the bill doesn’t call for devolvement of more functions held by the National Government. “Rights come with responsibilities, don’t be enticed by the bait on a fowler’s snare lest your goose be roasted soon.
You can’t use the authority bestowed upon you by our people to take away the gains of CDF and Affirmative Action which have been more accountable to the electorate.” he caution.
The vibrant lobby which has been a big critic of the Makueni County leadership seeks to promote the more consultative BBI bill on a condition that it gives counties a regulated authority with Senate having veto powers over National and County Assembly legislation. According to him Counties have become cash cows for Governors, Speakers and MCAs “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” he added.
The Movement is are among other groups pushing for an expanded executive with a 50-50 gender representation and all senior positions in youth, gender and social ministries held by the youth, women and pwd.
This comes at a time when Makueni County Assembly is sharply divided on whether or not to use public funds on Punguza Mzigo public participation. “Why should Makueni waste upto the tune Sh.30 Million just to carry out public participation on a bill whose resolve wont benefit our people like BBI? We should instead focus on development agendas as our core mandate.” ~ Nominated MCA Mbula Mutula told a section of media at Wote town noting that the elephant in the room is not the wage bill but ran away corruption that robs the country almost Sh.1 trillion every financial year.