Kenya: Punguza Mizigo Bill Collapses After Failing to Get Support From 24 Counties

16 October 2019

Nairobi — The Punguza Mizigo referendum Bill has collapsed after 24 county assemblies rejected it, dealing a blow to Third Way Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot who had hoped to send the country into a referendum to amend the Constitution.

Nyandarua and Machakos counties became the latest assemblies to reject it, a day after Meru, Kisumu, Garissa and Tana River shot it down.

Other county assemblies that rejected the bill on Wednesday include Mombasa, Kitui, Isiolo, Marsabit, Vihiga and Kilifi.

For a referendum Bill to sail through, it requires half of the 47 counties to support it.

Coincidentally, Nyandarua's County Speaker is the chairman of the County Assemblies Forum (CAF), a body mandated to promote networking and synergy among the 47 County Assemblies, coordinate intergovernmental relations and enhance good practice in legislative development.

County Assemblies Forum during a previous dramatic press briefing that was marred by infighting amongst its officials, advised county assemblies that were yet to debate the Bill to halt it's tabling on the floor of the House.

Speaking on Citizen Television on Monday night, Aukot appeared to be resigning to fate that the Bill was set for a natural death, while claiming the MCA's were compromised.

Aukot, who had his first stab to be the country's presidency in 2017, said he will make a "major announcement soon" after it became apparent that his Bill that had attracted the endorsement of 1.2 million signatures from Kenyans, was headed to a humiliating collapse.

With the Bill's conclusion appearing to be looming, the country now shifts its attention to the report by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which is set to BE released at the end of this month.

The report is highly likely to set the stage for the country's possibility to head into a referendum especially after President Uhuru Kenyatta and the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who initiated its formation after shaking hands with the President, endorsed it.

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