Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has implored West Pokot County Assembly to consider passing the Building Bridges’ Initiative (BBI) bill, in order to further improve on devolution, which has had commendable success stories since its inception in 2010.
Speaking at Moi Masol primary school in Masol ward, Sigor constituency during commissioning of rehabilitation and equipping of the institution Friday, Wamalwa said although the 2010 constitution remains largely good, BBI bill proposals were even better for the country.
The CS urged MCAs in the region to give the proposed constitutional amendments a unanimous nod when presented in their legislative house.
He singled out the Ward Development Fund as a landmark proposal in the bill that shall see the empowerment at grassroots heightened which is the epitome of development.
“I am fully persuaded that leaders from this county can attest to the successes of devolution. With BBI more is expected to be realized, hence we should support President Uhuru Kenyatta in his noble move of making the country’s development agenda even better,” said Wamalwa.
The CS maintained that with BBI counties will be guaranteed more funding, making every devolved unit get a good share of funds, to enable them plan for their own development projects at the grassroots level.
“Your leaders have said that in 2017 they had 6 ECDE centres but to date they have constructed 22 more and are planning to add a further 10. They have also said they had about 10 teachers but they are adding 22 more. These are the fruits of devolution,” reiterated Wamalwa.
He hinted that other county assemblies were prepared to pass the bill, thus West Pokot county assembly should also pass it and enable marginalized counties get funding for their many needs.
He explained that having Sh2 million as car grant for every MCA is a good thing, since it will facilitate them with a view to ensuring development projects are initiated in every corner of their wards.
Wamalwa argued that being the last Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister in the Kenyan history, he has evaluated the BBI document and given it a clean bill.
At the same, the CS vouched for intensive collaboration in matters of development, while cautioning the Pokot community and their leaders against politicizing projects being initiated by both state and non-state partners.
He commented that it was discouraging for some people to politicize matters of development saying the government was looking into the grievances over those opposing the North Rangelands Trust (NRT) projects earmarked for the region.
“Today we have heard your concerns over NRT and we are going to look into that so that the Sh450 million set aside for this county remains intact so that it can be used to develop this region,” said Wamalwa.
On his part, Sigor Member or Parliament Peter Lochakapong said BBI should not be forced on people but instead it should allow room for even divergent views from all quarters.
“Some people are using harsh language to sell the BBI agenda but according to the Pokot community, the process has addressed our concerns and shall pass it,” stated Lochakapong.