Cash crunch to blame for delayed NG-CDF money, says Ndung'u

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u. [Robert Menza, Standard]

There seems to be no resolution in sight for the stalemate between MPs and Treasury CS Njuguna Ndungú over the release of the Sh63 billion NG-CDF funds.

Despite continuous calls for his removal by MPs, CS Njuguna has distanced himself from any wrongdoing regarding the delay in releasing funds, attributing the issue to a cash crunch.

In a conversation with The Standard, the Treasury CS dismissed the legislators' accusations, asserting that he had not violated any laws and was actively working to ensure the availability of funds.

“You cannot be removed from office unless one has violated the constitution. Lack of money is not a constitutional violation. Indeed, you should be asking the MPs that since they are the lawmakers, what violation of the law or constitution is evident,” said Ndungu.

He also refuted claims of diverting funds earmarked for NG-CDF to other ministries and using technicalities to stall the release of the billions, as alleged by the lawmakers.

"I would like to know such facts. School capitation provided to schools is a fundamental obligation. It provides tuition and scholarships to schools,” added the CS.

On Tuesday, lawmakers allied with the Azimio la Umoja coalition party and the Kenya Kwanza Alliance demanded the immediate release of the National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) billions by the government within seven days.

Failure to comply will result in them initiating an ouster motion against the Treasury CS.

In a joint statement issued within the precincts of parliament, the legislators accused the administration of President William Ruto of using technicalities to delay the release of the funds since the beginning of the current financial year.

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, who read the statement yesterday, said MPs were considering calling for a special sitting to initiate the ouster process of Treasury CS Ndung'u and advocate for the removal of NG-CDF Chief Executive Officer Yusuf Mbuno. “There is a CDF memo dated January 2024, directed to all CDF account managers countrywide, directing them that money cannot be released because of certain amendments to the CDF Act.

"This has led to the Treasury not issuing the funds, and it claims that MPs were supposed to recall proposals they had made, redo and resubmit them,” said Amollo.

The MP also questioned why the amendments were being introduced in the third quarter of the 2023/2024 financial year, even though they only affected less than six per cent of NG-CDF funds.

“These amendments should have been considered in the 2024/25 financial year starting this year in July… nonetheless, as a bipartisan team comprising members from both sides, we demand the entire allocation of CDF be released within seven days as is due,” added the MP.

Kabuchai MP Majimbo Kalasinga criticised the Treasury for reallocating funds meant for the CDF kitty to other ministries amidst the plight of students who are set to resume school this week.

Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo also called for the release of the National Government Affirmative Action Fund.

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