By Seliphar Musungu
Political leaders from Western Kenya have rallied ward reps from the region to vote for the Building Bridges Initiative Bill when it will be tabled in the county assemblies.
The ward reps were drawn from Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga, Kakamega and Trans Nzoia counties.
The MCA’s demanded that they want the car grant before they can pass the BBI bill ones it’s tabled at the floor of the house.
“No car grant no BBI. The MCA’s are the bridge to the common mwananchi and the government and therefore they should be considered in the whole process of BBI,” said Joel Ongoro, the Kakamega County Assembly Majority Leader.
Mr. Ongoro said that the MCAs will either make or break the BBI process and therefore there interests must be taken care of, arguing that they are taking such a stand since they have been discriminated and forgotten for a long time.
He also said that the car grant initiative should be permanent to all MCA’s in every period not only to be there during the BBI session.
The leaders led by Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Wilber Ottichilo (Vihiga), and Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma) want the MCAs to hasten the process and pave way for the constitutional reforms.
The clamor for the constitutional reforms is being spear headed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga.
“BBI will have many goodies to the country than what those against it are preaching. We should all (MCAs) come together and support it. The car grant was a promise from the President and it will surely come,” said Mudavadi, the ANC leader.
Mudavadi who has set his eyes for the presidency told the ward reps at a Kakamega hotel on Saturday that he is personally supporting the BBI plebiscite calls as it’s the only way to heal the country from post poll chaos and at the same time ensure there is regional balance in the distribution of the national cake.
“If the BBI sails through, it will expand the executive and all regions will be represented. The winner takes it all syndrome will be a thing of the past,’ said Mudavadi.
Mr. Wamalwa, the Devolution Cabinet Secretary appealed to the give assemblies to support the BBI bill, saying it will go a long way in strengthening devolution and increase capitation to devolved units.
Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang’ula and the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli assured the MCAs that the car grant they were promised by the president they will get it but cautioned them that should not be the reason they are endorsing the BBI bill and instead focus on the bigger picture.
“I assure the MCA’s that the car grant will be given out since it has been passed by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC),” said Atwoli.
“Our main purpose why we are here is to sensitize the five County Assemblies so that as a region we are not left behind and have the bill passed,” Oparanya Said
Governor Oparanya said that the BBI initiative has more benefits and counties will have an increased funding from the shareable revenue from the exchequer, adding that even Kakamega will get over sh15billion as well as have five extra constituencies.
Oparanya also said that for the first time the Agricultural sector has been recognized, saying that that according to the BBI, money has been set aside to cater for the agricultural sector development