By Chris Singerera
MPs from both Jubilee and NASA on Wednesday blocked the contentious Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority Bill that was set to flop on the floor of the National Assembly.
National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale had to convince Speaker Justin Muturi to shelve voting on the Bill on Wednesday afternoon after he sensed defeat following MPs move to gang up and defeat the Bill.
“This is a very serious and controversial Bill. I need to go and do further consultations with the government,” said Duale when pleading with Speaker Muturi to drop the Bill.
The Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority Bill is meant to create a regulatory authority for all public service vehicles in the five counties that form the Nairobi metropolitan area. The five counties are Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu, Murang’a and Kajiado.
Contributing to debate on the Bill, MPs from across the political divide condemned the Bill saying if approved the country’s wage bill will balloon with the creation of a Metropolitan Ministry and Metropolitan Transport Authority to govern the five counties.
According to some opposition MPs the government has a hidden agenda with the Bill with some saying the proposed Nairobi Metropolitan Authority is a scheme to create a plum post for former Nairobi deputy governor Polycarp Igathe who resigned from his post over claims of lack of trust from his boss Mike Sonko.
A section of NASA MPs also called for the amendment of the Bill to ensure Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is given more powers in the Bill to safeguard the interest of Nairobi County in the proposed transport regulatory authority.