Bungoma residents air their views on proposed harambee bill



Residents of Bungoma County today aired their views concerning the proposed Public Fundraising Bill that was proposed by Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni, seeking to overhaul the Public Collections Act by introducing new reforms.

According to the bill, individuals planning to seek funds from the public should first seek clearance from the public and be issued with a licence before doing so.

The Bill recommends that Public Fundraising Appeals Committee be formed to regulate fundraising in the country.

The committee will draw membership from the national and county governments and will be responsible for receiving, vetting applications before issuing applicants with a licence.

The committee will also be charged with probing complaints relating to misuse of the funds raised, conduct inspections of records and audits relating to fundraising appeals as well as maintain a register of persons licensed to conduct such exercise.

Some of the issues raised by citizens include accountability of the Public Fundraising Appeals Committee and inclusiveness in that committee.

“The people who will be appointed as the committee members should be accountable and transparent enough to ensure the set guidelines are upheld. This should not be an avenue for them to receive bribes from the rich and give them licence, leaving the poor to continue suffering,” said Andrew Wafula.

Another resident Simon Khaoya questioned the criteria used to draw this membership and asked the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) to consider the youth, women and people living with disabilities as part of the committee.

“We need each one of us to be represented. The youth, women and people living with disabilities should be part of this committee as a way of promoting equality in our nation,” he said.

CIOC Vice Chairperson and Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi however said that the Bill is meant to protect the public by having a more robust legal structure in addressing pertinent issues regarding public collections

Addressing the press after the public participation session, Kapondi said that these reforms will prevent con people from exploiting the noble role of fundraising for their own personal gains.

“All we want is transparency. We do not want to exploit anybody. We want a framework in place that will ensure these fundraisings are carried out effectively and with the right purposes,” he noted.

Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi emphasized on the need for regulation of public Fundraising, citing that there are people at the grassroots level who take advantage of situations and dishonestly source funds for their own use.