William Ruto dangles CDF and Senate Fund to lawmakers in speech to House

President William Ruto (centre) interacts with MPs after the opening of the 13th Parliament on September 29, 2022. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

President William Ruto has proposed to Parliament the regularisation of the Constituency Development Fund and the introduction of a Senate fund.

In a speech that largely spoke to his agenda, during the's opening of the 13th Parliament, Ruto said he believed MPs could get funds to develop their constituencies and a new kitty to support the Senate's oversight role.

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the CDF Act, 2013 violates the principle of separation of powers, hence is unconstitutional.

"I know the contribution CDF has had in making life better for our citizens. I know the difference it makes is monumental and I believe there is a way CDF can be aligned to the tenets of the Constitution," Ruto said.

Keen not to isolate members of the Senate, he said both Houses should be adequately funded for oversight duties.

“This will be used to provide oversight of the resources that are sent to counties," he said.

Most lawmakers welcomed the move, but some members of Azimio said Ruto was trying to induce Parliament to support his agenda.

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said Ruto ought to leave the affairs of Parliament to be resolved by the House.

“It is the business of Parliament to determine how they want to do their oversight. Parliament is an independent arm of government, they should not be induced by using CDF or some tokenism,” said Junet.

Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina took a middle ground.

He said it was contradictory that MPs were pushing for money to implement programmes while their main role was to make laws. 

Baringo Senator William Cheptumo welcomed a senate fund.