Independent bodies cry foul over budget cuts

Constitutional commissions and independent offices have warned that budget cuts approved by Parliament are bogging down their operations.

Speaking at Kericho Green Stadium on Friday, constitutional commissions and independent offices chairperson Jane Kiringai said were it not for the efforts of the county government of Kericho, they would not have held their eighth annual conference.

Dr Kiringai thanked Governor Paul Chepkwony for coming to the rescue of the commissions and enabling them hold the meeting in his county.

"I want to thank the commissioners and commissions which have made it to Kericho in spite of the huge and drastic budget cuts. It has not been easy," she said.

Kiringai said they decided to go on with the congress instead of holding it in a conference room so they could involve citizens.

"Citizens are the best auditors because these are the milestones in which we measure service delivery. There is always so much they can tell us," she said.

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, a member or the Parliament Service Commission (PSC), said most independent bodies are surviving on a shoe string budget.

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"Recently, I wrote to the Kenya Human Rights Commission to look into the atrocities being committed in Narok South over the Mau Forest evictions. The response I got is that the commission is starved of funds," Cheruiyot said.

But Deputy President William Ruto in his speech, rejected calls for an increase of resources to the constitutional commissions and independent offices.

"The national government is also looking for money. We don't have enough money to run the national government. We must have a way of doing more with less," he said.

Kiringai challenged the commissions and independent offices to foster accountability and enhance service delivery.

"There is no reason why we cannot innovate and develop a cutting edge approach to social accountability," she said. 

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