By Shadrack Nyakoe
The County Assemblies Forum (CAF) coordinating body of the 47 County Assemblies in Kenya has declared its support to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
CAF said it will support all the constitutional reforms that seek to ensure that Kenya remains a united, peaceful, inclusive, equitable, and prosperous nation devoid of ethnic antagonism and divisive politics.
The County legislatures claimed being sidelined and left to be spectators in the launch of the BBI report denying them their constitutional right under article 174 which sets out the objects of devolution including self-governance and public participation.
The team led by its chairperson Ndegwa Wahome who doubles up as the speaker of Nyandarua County seeks an audience with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta to share the issues affecting county assemblies before it lands to the houses for approval.
“Our preliminary consideration now is that the BBI heralds some progress that we have been yearning for as Kenyans. We specifically are happy with the proposal to establish the Ward Development Fund but would propose a review of the percentage provided towards it. We applaud the document as it provides for an increase in shareable revenue to county governments to 35%. We are happy too that there are other initiatives towards improving our health systems under the Universal Health Coverage program that was launched by H.E the President just last week. These are indicators of other initiatives that may need review even as we think about improving the BBI report,” said Ndegwa.
He added that County assemblies play a critical role in the amendment of the constitution.
The county legislatures have concurrently called for a few amendments that would make the report stronger for it sail through including a structure at the national level reflecting at the county level and confirm whether nomination list will be done prior to or after the elections.
The county leaders were in a dilemma on the question of the composition of the cabinet as proposals are to be 50-50 within and without parliament is the same replicated at counties to have MCAs as CECs and how it impacts oversight.