The National Assembly has appointed a team to serve in the joint Parliamentary Ad hoc Committee that seeks to entrench in the Constitution the National Government Constituency Development Fund, Senate Oversight Fund and Economic Stimulus Empowerment Fund.
National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwah called on the Senate to appoint a similar number of members so as to ensure a bicameral approach on the matter.
Mr Ichungwah said Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga will serve as the co-chair of the Ad hoc Committee with MPs Otiende Amollo (Rarieda), Stephen Mule (Matungulu), John Mbadi (Nominated) and Catherine Wambilianga (Bungoma County) being committee members.
Other members are Rebecca Tonkei (Narok County), Zamzam Mohammed (Mombasa County) Yusuf Hassan (Kamukunji), Timothy Toroitich (Marakwet West) Edward Mureu (Gatanga), Mwengi Mutuse (Kibwezi West), Robert Gichumu (Gichugu) and Beatrice Elachi (Dagoretti North).
“This committee will facilitate collection of views from Members of Parliament, from constitutional and statutory bodies with law reform mandate, including the Attorney General, and deliver harmonised version and report to the houses of Parliament within 90 days,” said Ichungwah.
Ichungwah said that both the Senate and National Assembly need to work together to ensure that these important funds that are required for the facilitation of development projects in various parts of the country are fully entrenched in the Constitution.
Seme MP James Nyikal seconded the motion by Ichungwah saying that CDF has made a tremendous change in the development of the country for the last 20 years that it has been in existence and that it was logical to have the fund continue existing going forward.
Nyikal said that it would be a great disservice to the country to stop the existence of the fund and it was imperative for Parliament to amend the law to make the fund legal, asking both houses to move with speed to actualize it.
“I know this process will require at least a month to be concluded but we cannot go on recess before we concluded it. We need to have a Kamukunji with the Finance Cabinet Secretary to look into ways of dispatching money to our constituencies since Kenyans are in need,” said Nyikal.
Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo said that MPs will work hard to have NGCDF in the Constitution, noting that children of poor Kenyans risked failing to go to school due to lack of fees besides other basic development programmes failing to kick off if it is not allowed to exist.
“If we continue suppressing the poor, God is definitely going to punish us. Those making a ruling against CDF are definitely not considerate of the majority of Kenyans who are not able to take care of their basic need but stood to benefit from the fund over the years,” said Gogo.
Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi said that the motion was very important and crucial to Kenyans and enjoyed the support of Kenyans irrespective of their political persuasion and should be supported by all MPs.
Wandayi said that the committee does not need 90 days to accomplish its duties since this is a mandate that is going to ensure economic freedom for Kenyans and that he was delighted to be part of the Parliament that is going to fast-track this process for the good of Kenyans.
Suna East MP Junet Mohammed, Elachi and Emurua Dikirr MP Johanna Ng’eno also supported the move to entrench NGCDF in the Constitution which they said should be done as soon as possible.