MPs reject Kimani Ichung’wa’s bid to increase budget allocation to NYS

NYS recruits at a past pass out parade. Budgetary allocation to the agency has been slashed over rampant corruption. [File, Standard]

MPs on Wednesday 13 June rejected an attempt to reinstate Sh4 billion slashed from the National Youth Service (NYS).

The Budget Committee had attempted to reduce by Sh 4 billion the Sh 8.7 billion allocated to the 290 constituencies towards repair of the road and reallocate it to the NYS.

In a surprise move, after the committee had only days slashed the allocation to the NYS by Sh 8.1 billion following the uproar caused by the revelations of a mega scandal at the Service, Committee Chairman Kimani Ichung’wa had yesterday sought the MPs' help to increase the allocations to the besieged department.  

Ichung’wa had sought to raid the MPs controlled National Government- Constituency Development Fund (CDF)for Sh4 billion under the roads maintenance levy, asking MPs to consider canelling the amount towards youth empowerment programmes under NYS; a bid vehemently rejected by the legislators.

The Sh 8.7 billion is provided for under the road transport project of the Infrastructure department, which has been allocated Sh180 billion for the next financial year.

This will see Sh30 million allocated to each constituency to repair roads damaged by the recent heavy rains across the country.

But instead of each constituency receiving Sh 30 million, Ichung’wa had asked the MPs to surrender Sh 20 million per constituency to go towards the youth’s cause.

However, despite pleas from the Leader of Majority Mr Aden Duale and Mr Ichung’wah, who cautioned that failure to enhance the allocation to the NYS could ground its operations, especially since the Service had already recruited some youths, MPs declined to approve the amendments to the budget.

The legislators meanwhile approved the Sh 2.9 billion allocation towards the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) even as they warned the Commission to up its game in the fight against corruption.

MPs protested that while EACC has continued to receive huge funding, there was little to show for the allocation.

“This is a lot of money that we are chanelling to EACC, yet it is falling short of our expectations. They need to be told that even as we give it money, we are concerned that its delivery is wanting and indeed its now a candidate for dissolution,” said Kitui Centram MP Makali Mulu.

Similar sentiments on the wanting returns from EACC were expressed by Taita MP Naomi Shaaban, who said: “We should see the fruits of these funding, otherwise we will be re-considering it”.

MPs also had reservations passing the Sh 4 billion for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), saying the body was currently in shambles due to lack of quorum.

They tasked the Justice committee to keep watch of the going on at the Commission, especially given that it is expected to undertake the boundaries delimitations.

The Sh 31 billion allocation for the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and Sh 14 billion for the Judiciary sailed through without hitches, with the MPs rooting for even increased allocations for their votes.

“The current enhanced security situation we are encountering in the country is courtesy of the good work by NIS. We encourage them to continue doing the good work and in case they encounter any challenges, they should come back for more funding,” said Jimmy Angwenyi.