Siaya County Assembly County on Wednesday became the first in the country to give a nod to the Building Bridges Initiative(BBI) Constitution Amendment Bill 2020.
This comes days after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Chairman Wafula Chebukati submitted the BBI draft bill to the 47 Counties for consideration within three months.
Speaking on Wednesday the County Assembly Speaker, George Okode said the house passed the bill unanimously and he will now proceed to deliver a copy of the draft bill to the national assembly as well as a Certificate showing the Bill’s approval.
The constitution stipulates that “If a draft Bill has been approved by a majority of the county assemblies, it shall be introduced in Parliament without delay.”
“As a house what we have done is to make sure that the public has been involved substantially, we have done presenter mentions in the local radio station, we engaged through interviews and we also did public participation in all six sub-counties within Siaya County,” Okode stated
Siaya Governor, Cornel Rasanga, who spoke shortly after passage of the Bill called upon other County Assemblies to pass the BBI Constitution amendment bill saying it’s meant to benefit Kenyans.
“I’m satisfied that the due process that was followed in this regard was in accordance with the law and it captures the spirit of the people of Siaya and therefore the support we are giving BBI we want it to be extended so that other Counties do the same,” he said
With the approval of Siaya County the IEBC now requires 23 more County Assemblies to approve the Bill before moving to the next stage of a referendum.
Elsewhere, the County Assembly of Kisumu has set in motion the process to debate the bill after it was tabled in the house and committed to a committee for public participation.
East Seme Member of County Assembly (MCA) Seth Okumu tabled the bill at a special sitting convened to fast track the process.
The bill was subjected to first reading before house Speaker Elisha Oraro committed it to the Committee of Justice, Legal Affairs and Good Governance.
Oraro said the committee has been tasked with the responsibility of conducting public participation on the bill this Friday before tabling a report on the floor of the house on Tuesday next week for debate.
The exercise to be conducted at the county assembly, he said shall be carried out in strict adherence of the Covid-19 regulations, urging members of the public to prepare memoranda to submit to the committee to avoid overcrowding.
“It is not possible to gather all people who want to give their views on the bill here on that day. Therefore, we are encouraging them to submit memoranda online and to the county assembly to help the committee prepare their report,” he said.
Even though the bill is not subjected to amendments, the views from the public, he said, shall help the MCA’s to debate the bill before it is subjected to a vote next week.
Additional reporting by KNA