Nairobi City County assembly Thursday evening became the eleventh county to pass the constitution amendment bill 2020 famously known as BBI after its members unanimously voted for it with none of the members opposing or abstaining. A total of 114 members of the county assembly voted Yes for the bill out of which 109 voted physically during the afternoon session whereas 5 of them voted virtually after they could not make it for the sitting.
Assembly speaker Benson Mutura announced the results after each of the members was given an opportunity to announce his vote whether Yes or NO but none of them voted No to oppose the bill.
“After counting the votes we have had 109 members who voted for Yes physically here and five members who voted virtually and there were no members who voted for No or abstained from voting therefore we have 114 members who voted Yes for the bill and therefore the Ayes have it,” announced speaker Mutura amid cheers from the members in the assembly.
Before subjecting the bill to a vote several MCAs were given a chance to speak and they all spoke about the benefits of the bill to Kenyans especially those in Nairobi City County. They cited a number of major issues including the creation of a ward fund which they pointed out that at least every ward in Nairobi will receive Kshs 30 million for development under the MCA hence the move will spur progress among the people at the grassroots.
They further spoke of the independence of the county assembly financially whereby the speaker will not need to sweet-talk the governor or be good to him for the funds to be released smoothly hence comprising the assembly’s independence, a thing that will be in the past if the BBI bill is passed. Other points noted included the nomination of MCAs to the executive of the county to make at least 50 percent of the County executive committee members – CECs and the creation of the office of the leader of opposition and other related offices at the national level which the MCAs believe will end the animosity and chaos that are witnessed after every election between the winner of the presidential election and the loser or losers. Nairobi county now joins the other ten counties including Siaya, Homabay, Kajiado, Busia, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Kisumu, Laikipia, Kisii, and Vihiga that have also passed the bill apart from Baringo county that is now the only county that shot down the bill in a chaotic assembly last week.
Several leaders from Nairobi county including senator Johnson Sakaja, nominated Member of national assembly Maina Kamanda, Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, Makadara MP George Aladwa, Kibra MP Imran Okoth and former Nairobi woman representative Rachael Shebesh among others attended the Nairobi assembly sitting and witnessed the passing of the BBI bill.
They later lauded the MCAs for taking the bold move to pass the bill unanimously and urged them to continue sensitizing wananchi ahead of the referendum that is expected later in the year after several other steps from the current step where county assemblies are deliberating and voting for or against the bill. However, they insisted that Nairobi leaders and residents are fully behind President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga hence exuding confidence that the bill will be voted for convincingly when it reaches the referendum stage.