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MCAs heckle Kajwang over demeaning jibe

Reuben Mwambingu @reubenmwambingu

The 3rd Annual Legislative Summit turned chaotic yesterday after Members of County Assembly (MCAs) threatened to go physical on Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’ for using a “derogatory” statement when responding to their push for the establishment of Ward Development Fund.

MCAs had demanded that the Senator states his position on the County Wards Development Equalisation Bill,   during a plenary session, but when he stood up to respond, he declared that he would only support a bill that is “descriptive rather than prescriptive .”

He then went ahead to invite the MCAs for English language tutorial if they did not understand what he meant by the words.

His remarks sparked uproar in the room at the Pride Inn Hotel, Mombasa with Ward Reps jumping to their feet to confront the Senator for demeaning them. They demanded that he withdraws the remark and apologise.

Efforts by Kajwang’ to clarify  the statement  by saying his usage of words  “ prescriptive and descriptive” were misconstrued by the MCAs, were rebuffed by the angry county legislators. The situation almost got out of hand when he declared that he stood by his words.

“…I stand by what I said and no amount of intimidation will  make me  change my position. And if you need lessons on what ‘prescriptive and descriptive’ mean, then we can arrange for that later…,” said Kajwang’. But the angry MCAs dismissed him, saying he does not understand his job.

“If we have senators who don’t even understand their roles of protecting the counties then this is why we should even have the Senate disbanded,” said Nakuru County Assembly  Leader of Majority Stanley Karanja.

  The MCAs wanted an assurance that the Senate will pass the bill to allow MCAs oversee a fund just like their counterparts in the National Assembly do on Consttuency Development Fund (CDF).

They were of the view that there were concerted efforts by governors and senators to block attempts to establish a ward fund.

Nandi Speaker Joshua Kiptoo who was one of the panelists said governors are really fighting hard to block establishment of ward fund on grounds that the County Assemblies do not have capacity to handle a fund.  “You will be making a big mistake to undermine the county assemblies and failing to trust them.

The current crop of MCAs are graduates who are  well informed, some with masters and visionaries…so you can not claim that we have no capacity.  Trust us and you will see what we will do,” said Kiptoo.

It took the intervention of Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen to restore order in the hall after some members started to walk out in protest. 

Kangata who is the mover of the bill, assured the MCAs that the majority of Senators are in full support of the bill and it will pass.

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