Punguza Mizigo Bill rejected by Trans Nzoia County assembly

Trans Nzoia assembly in session
Trans Nzoia assembly in session

The County assembly of Trans Nzoia has rejected the Punguza Mizigo bill on grounds that its proposals are too unrealistic and retrogressive to the gains achieved under the current 2010 constitution.

The assembly instead branded the bill as a populist agenda saying its main proponent, Third way Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot seems to be pursuing a political agenda rather than a reforms agenda.

The assembly’s Justice and legal affairs committee chairman Mathew Orang’o who also is the MCA for Cherangany/suwerwa ward said the bill similarly received a resounding no from majority of residents during a public participation forum on October 11, 2019. “Majority of the members of the public felt that the bill is too unrealistic and a shot in the arm to the gains made by the country under the current constitutional dispensation,” said Mr. Nyarango
while tabling the motion.

Sitatunga MCA Daniel Kaburu took issue with the bill over a proposal to scrap the position of the deputy governor saying such a move would create a constitutional crisis in the event the Governor is not

Female MCAs termed the amendment bill as discriminatory to women and youths and patriarchal owing to a proposal to scrap nomination of
nomination positions which cater for affirmative action. “The current constitution has had tremendous gains for women, youths and persons living with disabilities. The proposal to scrap these gains should be rejected,” said nominated MCA Ann Ciiku.

However, the bill was supported by two MCAS, Matumbei and Nabiswa wards MCAs, with Matumbei ward MCA Jeremiah Wakhulia faulting his colleagues over what he termed as insincerity saying they subjected the document to prejudice instead of scrutinizing it critically.

His counterpart, Nabiswa MCA Martin Jamanuru, supported the bill claiming it is best placed for the common mwananchi and if passed would avail more resources from the national government down to
the grassroots.

Trans Nzoia County assembly speaker Joshua Werunga
Trans Nzoia County assembly speaker Joshua Werunga

He said the bill was viewed in a political angle with several MCAs failing to see what was right for the common mwananchi. “Some of our colleagues in the assembly voted with the idea of safeguarding their interests instead of putting the interests of the
public at heart, that’s why they have voted against the bill which to me, was best suited for the common mwananchi,” he said.

“The Punguza Mizigo bill is the best legal document that
Kenya will never have. It’s unfortunate that the document was never given the seriousness it deserved,” said MCA Wakhulia.

The assembly, however, found favour with the clause to have the Senate upgraded to be the upper house to put an end to the rivalry with the national assembly which has negatively impacted devolution. Some MCAs nonetheless hailed Dr. Aukot for coming up with the
initiative saying such a move is highly commendable since it is an act of patriotism but faulted him for failing to honour an invitation to follow the session.