Wiper Democratic Movement Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka on Monday evening played host to 10 Members of Parliament from Kitui County following a near fallout over the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
The MPs, drawn from various political parties including Wiper, Jubilee and Chama cha Uzalendo (CCU), were led by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu.
Mrs Ngilu and the legislators sought Mr. Musyoka’s direction following the disappointment caused by the failure by the BBI Report to recommend the creation of even a single extra constituency.
Area leaders had also been disgruntled by the failure to have an extra county carved out of the expansive Kitui County. Area residents had earlier expressed hope that the BBI Report would capture the creation of Mwingi County even as it highlighted other national issues.
“We note with great concern that Kitui County was not allocated an additional constituency, even though the County is most deserving due to its population of 1.14 million people and vast land area of 30,570 square kilometres“, the leaders said in a joint statement.
Despite the misgivings, however, the leaders affirmed their support to the legal and constitutional reforms proposed in the BBI Report, but with a rider that Kitui County be allotted additional constituencies commensurate to its geographical size and population, and that the County be split into two to create Mwingi County from the current three sub counties of Mwingi West, Mwingi Central and Mwingi North.
The leaders said their support for the BBI proposals was pegged on the fact that it increased opportunities “for different communities to participate in the governance of the country“, in addition to increasing the representation of women in National Assembly, the Senate and in County Assemblies.
The leaders said they were happy with the increase of funds devolved to County Governments from the current 15 per cent to 35 per cent, and the creation of Ward Development Fund of at least five per cent of the County budget.
They resolved, too, that the ndengu (green grams) crop be included as one of the cash crops to benefit from the proposed Cash Crop Stabilization Fund.
On Covid-19, the leaders said that, while they appreciated the efforts of the County and National government health teams in responding to the pandemic, “we urge all people of Kitui County to take extra precautions and observe the protocols laid out by the Government to stem the spread of Covid-19“.
It was also resolved that all leaders, including Mr. Musyoka, Mrs. Ngilu, Senator Wambua, MPs, Members of the County Assembly, and leaders of Political Parties from the County, should spearhead consultations with other leaders nationally so as to ensure that the interests of Kitui County identified in the forum were taken on board in the final BBI resolutions.
Those who signed the statement included Mr. Musyoka, Mrs. Ngilu, Senator Enoch Wambua, Woman Representative Irene Kasalu, and MPs Dr. Makali Mulu (Kitui Central), Dr. Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South), Mr. Mwalika Mboni (Kitui Rural), Mr. Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East), and Mrs. Edith Nyenze (Kitui West). Others were Mr. Charles Nguna (Mwingi West), Dr. Gideon Mulyungi (Mwingi Central) and Mr. Paul Nzengu (Mwingi North).