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Court stop Treasury CS from disbanding state agency

By Paul Ogemba | June 11th 2020

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani has been stopped from taking control of Sh10 billion allocated to the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund.

High Court judge Weldon Korir dealt the CS a major blow in his bid to save on the national expenditure by winding up some State corporations and channelling the funds to support the government’s development projects.

“An order is hereby issued suspending the decision of the Treasury CS to revoke the Public Finance Management on Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund, which purported to disband the fund and return its functions to Treasury,” ruled Korir.

The Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund was established in 2015 to provide a platform for storing reserve food like maize, beans, rice, fish, powdered milk and canned beef on behalf of the government.

Legal notice

In April, Mr Yattani issued a legal notice to disband the fund by revoking the Public Finance Management Act of 2015, which established the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund.

It is the decision that prompted activist Okiya Omtatah to file the petition.

According to Omtatah, the fund currently has over Sh10 billion in its accounts which are likely to be misappropriated.

“The legal notice by the CS has no transition mechanisms to secure the Fund’s assets and resources, including the Sh10 billion which is held in its bank accounts,” said Omtatah.

He claimed it will be immoral for the government to disband the agency at a time when it is fighting Covid-19 and every indication that there will be food shortage, which will require the agency’s help in distributing food.

Justice Korir said the orders will be in place until July 1 when the suit will be heard.

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