JIMMY KAHINDI: HE LEFT THE UN FOR DEVOLUTION
JIMMY KAHINDI, SPEAKER KILIFI COUNTY ASSEMBLY / “If all the MCAs are reelected next year, they will do much better. Their quality in debates was poor in 2014 compared to now,’’ he says.
THREE years ago Jimmy Kahindi dumped his legal work and a high profile UN job to join the Kilifi County Assembly with the creation of devolved governments in this country.
His dream was to ‘return home’ and be part of the founder team of devolution. He also hoped to come up with legislation in the county that would create transformation and change lives.
He joined the Assembly only to find MCAs with little knowledge of the law and rules of procedure.
The assembly’s infrastructure was in a deplorable state, with the Chamber and his office leaking and without proper air conditioning.
The Speaker embarked on a longterm journey of creating a landmark project that would change the face of the assembly and create a proper environment not only for the MCAs but in terms of infrastructure.
He was forced to enhance training for the MCAs.
The training was meant to empower the MCAs with knowledge of the Constitution and debating techniques, among other skills.
“If all the MCAs are reelected next year, they will do much better. Their quality in debates was poor in 2014 compared to now,’’ he says.
The MCAs have been able to pass 35 Bills that are now law, including the Scholarship Fund Act, Coconut Act, Mbegu Act, and People with Disabilities Act.
In the formative years he could not leave the assembly when crucial Bills were being discussed because of the challenges relating to the grasp of issues.
“Currently, I can comfortably leave the MCAs to handle serious Bills with the rich knowledge they have acquired.”
Training MCAs to understand the law, proceedings and standing orders to enable them to fulfill their mandate was also critical.
Four years later, Kahindi is proud of his work. The Chamber is fully equipped with executive seats for the MCAs and specialised ones for the physically challenged.
“Even my seat is convenient for a Member living with disabilities to operate from - as it is user friendly,’’ he says.
In terms of technology, the county has acquired facilities similar to those of the National Assembly, including the latest assembly Hansard facilities, imported from Germany at a cost of Sh55 million.
The Assembly is in the process of setting up broadband that will enable live transmission of proceedings through the Internet.
FOUR YEARS LATER, KAHINDI IS PROUD OF HIS WORK. THE CHAMBER IS EQUIPPED WITH EXECUTIVE SEATS FOR THE MCAS