Inside Politics

‘It is hypocritical of Azimio members to reject the housing bill’ – Kisumu senator

Thursday, February 29th, 2024 10:15 | By
Kisumu senator Tom Ojienda. PHOTO/Print

Kisumu senator Tom Ojienda has criticized members of the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition over their plans to shoot down the controversial housing bill.

Speaking during an interview with a local TV station on Thursday, February 29, 2024, Ojienda stated that it was hypocritical that the members were rejecting the bill claim ng that their coalition leader Raila Odinga supported it.

While defending the project, Ojienda alleged that the project is not a new concept and that it has been existing for a while. He specifically underscored that the opposition has been including the project as part of their manifesto throughout the election periods.

Ojienda also emphasized that the housing bill should not be demonized as it seeks to respond to a need under Article 43 (1) of the constitution.

"The legalities of the initial act as presented is what led to the declaration on unconstitutionality at the High Court and the Court of Appeal and I think that is what has led the attorney general to advise the Kenya Revenue Authority not to make the collections prior the new legal framework which is housed in the affordable housing bill that is now before the house.

"But let me say this, I'm always maniacally built...that senators like Eddy would speak against the affordable housing bill when Baba himself supports the project. The housing bill seeks to respond to a need under article 43(1) of the constitution, housing as an ideal is both in the manifesto and previous successes of ODM and Azimio, when Ruto came to power he did not reinvent the wheel because it was on the old manifesto, I can go as far as back as Cord, Nasa, you find that housing was one of those pillars those previous establishments intended to build on, therefore it is a contradiction that the same corded senators now Azimio should speak and vote against the housing bill," Ojienda stated.

The senator subsequently drummed up support for the project noting that it has already proven successful in select counties such as Kisumu, Nyandarua, and Embu. He also announced that he would be voting for the bill.

.".On that I'll say I support the housing bill because there are already successes in areas such as Nyandarua, Embu, and Kisumu," he added.

Ojienda's remarks follow after a section of Azimio senators from the coast region promised to reject the Affordable Housing Bill when tabled before the senate.

The senators explained that they were shooting down the bill because it was burdening citizens who were already struggling to survive the lean times.

Led by Senators Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi), Mohamed Faki (Mombasa) and Issa Juma (Kwale), the leaders noted that housing was a devolved function per the constitution and therefore county governments should foresee the constructions without burdening citizens.

“The national government is contravening the Constitution by forcefully invading and destroying private property in the guise of putting up affordable houses. How do you destroy a house to build another house and without following due process? The victims have title deeds but President William Ruto and his team do not care,” Madzayo stated.

“Governors should understand that county land should not be donated without involving residents of that county. What we are seeing is that the governors are creating a problem,” he said adding that President Ruto should let counties implement the affordable housing project," Senator Faki added.

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