Siaya becomes first county to pass people's assembly bill

Siaya has become the first county to pass a Bill to legalize formation of the people’s assemblies in Kenya.

Members of Siaya County Assembly took only one hour to debate and pass the bill drafted by NASA campaign secretariat.

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Siaya MCAs were sending a message to other NASA friendly assemblies to do the same even as some legal experts warn that formation of people’s assemblies could put the country into deeper political and constitutional crisis.

The MCAs said they passed the motion to prove that they did not recognize Uhuru Kenyatta as the President of Kenya.

Formation of the people’s assemblies across the country is part of National Super Alliance NASA's attack on Jubilee as they seek to stop President Uhuru Kenyatta from ruling the country after he was declared winner of October 26 fresh presidential election, whose outcome the opposition has dismissed as a sham.

On Wednesday, there was excitement at the Siaya County Assembly chambers as the speaker, Mr.  George Okode led the debate on the motion which was moved by Central Sakwa MCA and the Majority Chief whip, Johaness  Andiego and  seconded  by Usonga MCA, Sylvester Madialo.

The Bill will be presented to Governor Cornell Rasanga who will sign it into law.  It will now allow the constitution of people’s assembly which will make pronouncement on how they want to be governed, including amendments of the constitution.

Mr. Okode said the motion passed in the house on Wednesday was in line with NASA leadership's announcement that it would come up with various strategies to counter what it termed as a sham presidential poll held on October 26.

In the motion, NASA wants the actions and performance of constitutional commissions, including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the National Police Service, the National Intelligence Service, the Public Service Commission, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to be reviewed.

The motion also wants review of the Constitution be undertaken to reform structure of the Executive, Parliament and devolution and to reinforce concrete measures for the promotion of inclusivity, welfare of the marginalised, advancement of women and youth, eradication of corruption and poverty and to secure social justice, equality and fairness.

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"The house and its membership will participate in the proceedings of the people’s assembly and will constitute a special college for the appointments or election of members, delegations and observers to the people,” said the speaker, amid foot thumping by the MCAs.

Besides the people’s assembly bill, Nasa is also advocating for economic sabotage through boycott of products from companies associated with Jubilee government.  These include Safaricom Ltd, Bidco Oil Company and Brookside Dairies.

Asked if the passage of the people’s assembly motion was lawful, Mr Okode said: "A County Assembly has a right to make a pronouncement.  It is legitimate. Nothing bars us from debating and passing such laws."

But some legal experts say formation of people’s assemblies was a risky undertaking and could lead to two parallel governments.  "With the People’s Assemblies, those loyal to the opposition will not obey the government.  There will be a crisis   because Jubilee will fight back through its tyranny of numbers in both Houses," says Jacob Mumbo, a lawyer.