Caf Chairman Ndegwa Wahome
The County Assemblies Forum (CAF) is now seeking audience with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga over the Building Bridges (BBI) Initiative report.
The forum that brings together Ward Representatives across the country want to be addressed by the two leaders to enable them make a decision on recommendations of the report that will tabled in the assemblies before a referendum is held.
CAF argues that Members of Parliament were addressed to their satisfaction during last week’s retreat in Naivasha.
The Chairman of the forum, Ndegwa Wahome, said County Assemblies will play a critical role in the Constitution Amendment Bill, because the Bill cannot proceed to a Referendum without approval from at least 24 County Assemblies.
“As the County Assemblies Forum, representing over 2,287 of our members we are looking forward to the earliest meeting with the President and the former Prime Minister so that we are able to sit and make clear our position on some of these issues, and the assemblies of this country will make a decision that’s in the best interest of Wanjiku and ensure the security of devolution,” he said.
Some of the issues CAF wants to be addressed in the report include replicating what’s happening at the national level to the counties, including the structure of the Executive.
Also, the proposal for the Cabinet to be 50-50 from within and without Parliament, CAF wants the same replicated in county assemblies to have MCAs as County Executive Committee members.
The County Assemblies Forum is seeking to have facilitation for enhancing their oversight roles similar to that of MPs, on grounds that members will be in charge of huge development budgets.
CAF also wants the percentage going towards the Wards in the Ward Development Fund, clarified in the report.
Wahome said the County Assemblies Forum believes there is room for amending the Bill, so as to ensure the issues left out can be incorporated.
“If we don’t pass the Bill there can never be a Referendum,” he said, “we are the ones in the grassroots and we believe that there is still room for the Constitutional Bill to be amended for those issues to be incorporated,” he said.