‘We are not happy,’ MPs from pastoralist communities oppose BBI proposals

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Members of Parliament from the pastoralist communities have come out to oppose the recently unveiled Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, issuing a set of conditions they term as “irreducible minimums” for them to support the document.

“We will be cheating our parties and the country if we say that the pastoralist community is happy with the document,” said former House Majority Leader and Garissa Township MP Aden Duale.

The leaders who are members of the Pastoralists Parliamentary Group (PPG) and the Frontier Counties Development Council maintain that the BBI report excluded presentations they made during public participation forums held by the taskforce behind the report.

“The BBI report has excluded our detailed presentations to the taskforce and reduced our citizens’ gains on – equity in resource allocation, representation, gender parity, needs of the Persons With Disabilities, and protection of the community land among others. We demand our issues form part of the Kenyan conversation and be included in the proposed amendments,” reads a joint statement they issued on Tuesday.

The leaders including Governors, Senators and Members of National Assembly demanded that the proposed amendment on Article 203 (1) of the constitution on resource allocation be deleted from the BBI report and Article 203 of the constitution be retained as it is stipulated in the 2010 constitution.

They further want the proposed additional 70 parliamentary seats be distributed in such a manner that guarantees each of the 47 Counties has at least one slot and not the use of  use of party lists in party primaries.

The leaders are also opposing the proposal to scrap the 47 woman representative seats in the National Assembly and instead want the positions retained.

They have further rejected the proposal to create the Health Service Commission arguing that it undermines the gains made by devolution as Health is a devolved function.

On the BBI proposals touching on the Senate, the Pastoralists Parliamentary Group wants the Senate to approve all constitutional appointments and be regarded as an Upper House.

“The delegation model of voting must be retained. We reject the proposed deletion of Article 123,” the leaders insisted.

On the Judiciary, the leaders insist: “We want the Ombudsman proposal be removed. Independence of the judiciary must be protected through the operationalization of the Judiciary Fund.”

They also want issues of Human Rights violation be addressed in the BBI report and funds be set aside for registration of persons and issuance of National Identity Cards and other crucial documents to make sure all pastoralists of age are registered and can access services as any other citizen “without discriminatory vetting.”

On matters Education, the leaders are proposing that recruitment of teachers in the high risk North Eastern regions be localised.

“TSC has withdrawn ALL teachers fron North Eastern counties and no back to school strategies in place, thus putting the future of our children at risk. We would like to propose the localisation recruitment of teachers,” they said.

At the same time, the leaders are demanding establishment of Livestock Marketing Authority with capacity of vessels for exporting live animals to competitive markets.

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Source: citizentv.co.ke