BY MWAKWAYA RAYMOND
Kilifi County Assembly is among the counties that passed the BBI bill but its awareness among the electorates is low based on interviews conducted by the Coast Newspaper.
Most of the rural residents interviewed looked indifferent and unaware of the Constitution of Kenya (Amemndment) Bill 2020.
This came out clearly on March 8, 2021 during the Women’s International Day held at Vipingo where Governor Amason Kingi had rough time selling the document to the public.
According to him the Bill when passed during the forthcoming referendum the county’s allocation will increase from 15 per cent to 35 per cent as proposed by the BBI.
This budgetary increase, he says will create a conducive environment to undertake several initiatives such as the Mbegu Fund to reach more intended people in the County.
However, his effort to drum support for the BBI was meant with disquiet with most of those in attendance outrightly rejecting the document.
“If you want to get meaningful development as well as initiate income generating activities through Mbegu fund then support the BBI as more cash will be channeled to the counties to finance the same,” he pleaded.
The crowd especially the ladies who were keenly following Kingi’s speech could not agree with him that the BBI will actualise his narrative because several groups are yet to benefit from the Mbegu Fund.
The program, initiated three years ago with only Sh30 million, has now grown up to a budgetary allocation of Sh212 million but still falling short of serving all the needy cases in the County.
Mbegu Fund chief executive officer Mercy Ngombo says the fund is meant to jump-start both women and youth groups to initiate income generating activities to enable them fend for themselves and their families.
So far women in the County have borrowed 64 per cent of the total fund while 30 per cent has gone with the youth and the remaining amount was borrowed by persons living with disabilities, Sacco’s and cooperatives.
She says the program has trained over 800 women in various fields such as value chain addition along side other trainings. She dismissed claims that there are bottle necks in applying for the Mbegu Fund as perceived by many.
“There are no stringent requirements measures whenever applying for the fund. What one needs to bring forth is a valid proposal, minutes of their group as well as the group registration certificate,” she said.
The fund which operates on first come first served basis has so far received 75 per cent of the repayment rate.
Addressing the gathering earlier, Malindi MP Aisha Juma dismissed the BBI document as ‘hot air’ saying it has nothing to do with the empowerment of women so they should reject it.
“Women have to be on the negotiating table and not wait to be given as it is indicated in the BBI. We do not want to be nominated neither deputise men as the BBI document seem to be agitating for but we want to lead from front,” she said.
Majority of the MPs who were present among them Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), William Kamoti (Rabai), Ken Chonga (Kilifi South), women Representative Mbeyu Mwanyanje, Senators Stewart Madzayo and Christine Zawadi (nominated) drummed support for the BBI document