Rotich collapses Uwezo and Youth funds, sets new rules

Three State-sponsored development funds are set to be wound up, according to a gazette notice.

The Women Enterprise Development Fund, Uwezo Fund and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund will cease to exist.

Instead, the Government has announced plans to set up a single fund named Biashara Kenya Fund.

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The notice was published by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich (pictured) last week.

According to Mr Rotich, the new fund will draw its emoluments from allocations made to it by Parliament, income from investments it makes, grants and donations from different State partners.

To start the fund off, Parliament made a Sh2 billion allocation to it in the 2018/19 financial year.

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“The purpose of the fund shall be to provide loans directly to women, youth and persons with disability for various enterprises,” the notice reads.

“These marginalised groups shall be given a preference while processing loans by the Fund.”

According to Rotich, the fund will also help promote, develop and facilitate access to Government procurement opportunities for the same marginalised groups.

The new rules state that the fund's advisory board shall oversee its administration.

It will also advise the Cabinet Secretary responsible for gender affairs on how to go about the lending process as well as develop the fund's policy guidelines.

The board will, at the same time, review financial performance of the fund before submitting its financial statements to the Auditor General.

The day to day administration of the fund will be undertaken by a Chief Executive Officer who will be appointed by the Gender Services Cabinet Secretary.

To guard against misuse, the rules have it that a person who misappropriates the funds shall, upon conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years or to a fine not exceeding Sh10 million, or to both.

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Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry RotichUwezo FundWomen Enterprise Development FundYouth Enterprise Development Fund