By Peter Opiyo
Parliament is on a collision path with the Executive over a bid to unconstitutionally withdraw Sh424.66 billion to fund government operations.
The move by Finance Minister Njeru Githae has drawn the ire of the Parliamentary Budget Committee.
On Wednesday, the committee came out of a meeting only to be ambushed by letters from the Treasury showing intention to withdraw the money.
The Constitution requires that the money can only be withdrawn after Parliament has passed the Appropriation Bill, a proposed law that authorises the Government to withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund.
But Githae on Wednesday moved to issue a notice of Motion seeking the withdrawal without the passage of the Bill even as the committee, chaired by Maragwa MP Elias Mbau, concurrently addressed a press conference registering their displeasure.
“The minister wants to spend even before the Appropriations Bill is passed. We would have set a very dangerous precedent. We are disturbed that the Finance minister is doing this,” said Mr Mbau.
Gwassi MP John Mbadi, Eldama Ravine MP Moses Lessonet and Kisumu Town East MP Shakeel Shabbir accused Treasury officials of perpetuating impunity and sabotaging the minister, even after a High Court ruling last year criticised then Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta of flouting the Constitution by going down the same route.
“ Treasury is sabotaging the minister, the court ruling is on our side and we won’t allow this...This is the height of impunity,” said Mbadi, a member of the committee.
Mbadi raised the matter on the floor and Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim undertook to deliver a ruling today.