MPs: We’ll not approve 2016/17 budget without CDF

Members of Parliament have threatened not to approve the 2016/2017 Financial Year budget if the Treasury will not allocate funds to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) kitty.

This is after members of the Civil Society and Constitution Activists filed a case at the High Court, seeking to block Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich from allocating funds to the CDF to be used in the 2016/2017 financial year, for the Fund is unconstitutional as indicated by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).

According to CRA, CDF should be scrapped for it interferes with the normal running of the county governments and the entire Devolution. MPs dismissed the Commission’s directive to scrap the Fund, saying CDF have transformed lives in Constituencies.

Led by the leader of Minority in the National Assembly Francis Nyenze, the lawmakers said governors have been allocated millions of shillings in the counties, and that they would rather paralyze the country’s budget than being denied CDF.

Nyenze said MPs can not be denied CDF yet governors take charge of huge amounts of money at the county level but do nothing profitable to the people with the monies.

“We will stop the budget process unless this (CDF) is secured. If you go to any part of the country, there’s no development seen with all the billions allocated to governors. It is only the CDF, money that is seen. We have a leverage point and this is the gatherd way. No CDF, No budget. No CDF, No budget,” Nyenze said amid backing and cheers from the rest of the members.

Attempts by the House Leader of Majority Aden Duale and Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso to calm them down and pass the Budget and Appropriation Bill turned futile as members remained adamant that there will be no budget without CDF.

Duale told the members that the CDF and salaries are in the budget and so they should first pass the Appropriation Bill before asking for the funds to the kitty. But his request fell on deaf ears.

“Upto this afternoon the Minister for Finance has not received any orders. But we don’t have money for CDF until the House passes the Appropriation Bill,” Duale said, Tuesday, amid jeers and shoutings from the MPs, forcing the Deputy Speaker to call for orders.

“You can disagree with me but I’m not asking you to pass. I’m only passing a message. You know the budget also includes our salaries. As we seat here, we have no money in the budget,” added the Leader of Majority.

Contributing to the matter at the floor of the House, TNA nominated MP Johnson Sakaja called for a Kamukunji (private sitting by the MP), to discuss the matter and agree on the way forward.

It is not clear what they finally resulted at.

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