Treasury CS Njuguna Ndungu. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The National Treasury is awaiting Attorney-General Justin Muturi's advisory opinion on the legality of the National Government Constituency Development Fund in order to disburse Sh44.3 billion to constituencies.

In a statement tabled Wednesday by Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wa, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u told Parliament that his office had written to Muturi on the subject but was yet to get a response.

Prof Ndung'u said an August Supreme Court judgment declaring the Constituency Development Fund Act of 2013 unconstitutional had rendered the NG-CDF Act of 2015 unclear.

"It is not clear what the implication of this court decision is on the application of the NG-CDF Act of 2015," the CS said in a statement reaqd by Ichung'wa, adding that Treasury would disburse Sh2 billion weekly to the NG-CDF kitty starting Monday, "subject to the legal advice from the office of the Attorney-General".

The Treasury CS said that the cash had not been disbursed owing to cashflow constraints occasioned by revenue deficits and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, among other issues.

Last week, Ichung'wa had been tasked with getting a statement on the status of the disbursement of the NG-CDF, with MPs threatening to stall House business, which could have far-reaching implications on the implementation of President William Ruto's policies.

The Kikuyu MP proposed to have the NG-CDF committee, chaired by Eldama Ravine MP Musa Sirma take up the matter.

Members of Parliament found the statement to be unsatisfactory and read ill motive in the Treasury's move to seek Muturi's legal opinion, stating that the constitutionality of the NG-CDF Act of 2015 is yet to be decided.

"As we speak... there is no evidence whatsoever that the National Treasury CS, or anybody else for that matter, has been served with a court order stopping them from disbursing the NG-CDF funds, pursuant to the appropriations Act that this House passed," Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi said, terming Prof Ndungu's move as an attempt to veto the National Assembly.

"The idea that the CS Treasury is still seeking some advisory opinion from the Attorney General for this straightforward matter is basically to take this House round in circles," Wandayi said, adding that the funds needed to be disbursed immediately, even as he doubled down on his call to stall House business.

Minority Whip Junet Mohamed urged his colleagues to avoid passing the Supplementary Budget which he said was due in a fortnight without the NG-CDF's disbursement. "That is the language the Executive will understand," he said.

He also repeated his claim of a conspiracy to undermine Parliament by the Executive and the Judiciary. "Their plan is to make Members of Parliament look as useless as possible," the Suna East MP said. "Parliament must down their tools completely until this matter is sorted... this is ridiculing Parliament."

Mandera East MP Abdirahman Husseinweytan Mohamed endorsed the move to stall House business. "We are not begging for this money. We want this ministry to release these funds. They have no excuse at all... otherwise we are going to stop every business in this House," he said.

"The new MPs are more confused because they had promised so many things that they would do with the CDF," Manyatta MP Gitonga Mukunji said.

"Treasury is not interested in releasing CDF," Nominated MP John Mbadi said. "The same people who challenged the 2013 Act went to court to challenge the 2015 Act. That is an admission by the petitioners that the 2015 Act has been ruled on by the courts."

He said the Supreme Court judgment had been overtaken by events.

In August, the Supreme Court nullified the CDF Act of 2013 for undermining devolution by creating a non-existent level of government and for allocating MPs illegal functions. The then Treasury CS said he would not disburse the NG-CDF cash.

CDF NG-CDF Justin Muturi Njuguna Ndungu