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Lamu leaders ask citizens to embrace BBI to address historical injustices

KNA                Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama has urged members of the public to support the BBI stating that it will improve the socioeconomic situation of marginalized communities.

The legislator who spoke to KNA in Lamu today during a BBI books handing-over ceremony stated that the BBI proposals such as the increment in county revenue funds from 15 percent to 35 percent will uplift previously marginalized and frontier areas such as Lamu to be at par with the rest of the country.

“The overriding theme when it comes to BBI is that it will promote socio economic inclusivity of all Kenyans to enjoy the national cake better than has previously happened in the past,” Muthama stated.

 He added that Lamu should not be left behind in the push for inclusivity that will mean greater access to funds to build much needed roads.

He further added that the BBI is not leadership driven as is claimed by a section of the media but service-to-mwanachi driven considering the proposed increased representation at the constituency level.

Lamu County will however not be getting more seats as per the new BBI proposals that will be pushed through the Constitutional Amendment Bill.

He stated that the BBI will also seek to address historical injustice issues such as land management, and the disenfranchisement of youth.

“The Youth Commission that will be created once the BBI passes will seek to provide lasting solutions for youths who form the core of this country’s working populace,” the Lamu West MP said.

However, Hongwe ward MCA James Komu stated that the BBI offers a mixed bag for Kenyans across the country, adding that although the BBI document has good proposals, if passed Lamu County could lose a large chunk of its allocation once the amendments are adopted into the constitution.

“According to Article 203 of the amendment Bill the average amount of money per person should not exceed three times the allocation per person to a county with the lowest allocation,” Komu said.

The ward representative said according to the new CRA formula, Lamu would only be entitled to receive Sh 1.26 billion annually a shortfall from the Sh 3.3 billion it receives presently.

He said if the proposals are adopted Lamu would only be able to pay salaries and not be able to carry out any development agenda.

However, Haki Africa Lamu Coordinator Yunus Is’Shakia opined that the Commission for Revenue Allocation would work around a formula that would ensure that no county is disenfranchised from getting development funds.

 “The key to the BBI is its inclusivity that guarantees areas that were previously marginalized would get fair and equitable funding to be at par with more developed regions within the country,” Yunus said.

Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia also urged members of the public to embrace the BBI document wholly and pass the amendment bill once it’s put through a referendum.

He added that out of the 15,000 signatures that Lamu was expected to deliver, 11,900 signatures had been gathered so far with regards to the BBI signature exercise.

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