As the constitutionality of the NG-CDF act continues to become a heated political and national quagmire, Parliament is seeking to amend this. Members of Parliament for Matungulu and Gichugu are leading the pack in Regularising the act. The two members are seeking signatures from their colleagues in a bid to regularise the fund.
In the proposal, Matungulu MP Stephen Mule and his Gichugu counterpart Robert Gichimu also want the National Government Affirmative Fund (NGAAF) and the Senate oversight fund be included in the Constitution.
In the memorandum, the MPs say the purpose of the proposal is to “ensure that the critical role of the funds in promoting the development of National Government projects is safeguarded as well as ensuring that the funds are not subject to abuse.” The bill also seeks to increase the allocation for NG-CDF from 2.5% of the budget to 5%.
The Oversight Fund
It will also create the much–coveted Senate oversight fund that has been frustrated by the National Assembly over time, with efforts to create the fund being thwarted. The proposal also seeks to create an economic stimulus and empowerment fund. The Fund’s objective will be to provide funds for women, men, youth and people living with disability empowerment. A fund that is akin to the much talked about ‘hustlers fund’.
According to Mule, they have already collected 335 signatures of members of parliament in support of the bill. However, the Standing Orders only require 50 members.
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“This is to ensure that we will have money availed through the Constitution of Kenya. So that we deal with this issue where the Judiciary declares it unconstitutional and puts the whole country into jeopardy. We want this fund never to be subject to judiciary interpretation,’’ Mule said.
“The net effect of this proposal is to guarantee development benefits without undue interruption to the people. This by channelling resources to meet the ever-increasing needs of the Kenyan people,” the proposal says.
Supreme Court Ruling
The NG-CDF fund has been in limbo ever since the Supreme Court declared the CDF Act of 2013 unconstitutional. Legal experts and legislators are left divided on the effects of the ruling. According to Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo. The amendment does not require a referendum as long two thirds of the MPs will support it.
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Otiende insists that the Supreme Court ruling does not affect the current NG-CDF Act. He says that there is nothing wrong with MPs amending the constitution to forestall any decision by the courts.“The amendment does not require a referendum. We will of course do public participation, but for getting two thirds in parliament that will be very easy,” he says.
The bill will now go for prepublication, in the NG-CDF committee and the budget committee. Then it’s forwarded to the speaker, who will process it to the House Business Committee to schedule for the first reading in the house.