Azimio, Kenya Kwanza MPs unite in bid to ouster Treasury CS over NG-CDF billions

A section of MPs led by Otiende Amollo addressed the media regarding the late disbursement of NG-CDF at Parliament buildings in Nairobi on January 9, 2024. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Members of Parliament from across the political divide have renewed their calls for the impeachment of Treasury CS Njuguna Ndungu over the delay in disbursement of NG-CDF billions.

The lawmakers allied to the Azimio la Umoja coalition party and the Kenya Kwanza Alliance are demanding the immediate release of Sh63 billion meant for the National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) by the government within seven days, failure to which they will move an ouster motion against the Treasury CS.

In a joint statement issued within the precincts of parliament, the legislators accused President William Ruto's administration 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 that MPs were mulling calling for a special sitting to initiate the ouster process of Treasury CS Ndungu and engineer the sacking of NG-CDF chief Executive CEO 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 brought 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 the reallocation of funds meant for the CDF kitty to another ministry amidst the plight of students who resume school this week.

“Schools have no classes and they are dependent on the release of these funds to construct new ones. Children have also reported back to school and are expecting to benefit from the bursaries which unfortunately have not been released from the beginning of this financial year up to now,” he said.

Disgruntled MPs plot to impeach Treasury CS over NG-CDF funds

“We are demanding for the release of 75 percent of the total NG-CDF funds owed to us and amounting to Sh63 billion by tonight without fail. We are tired of the back and forth between the Treasury and the CDF board. It’s time we take action.”

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

“We are tired of people crowding our homes and offices and being added to WhatsApp groups. Our people are suffering and we want to tell the treasury that we will take it head-on. We cannot afford to have young people missing chances in national schools due to a lack of funds yet the government has money,” she said.

The lawmaker also cautioned the Treasury against intimidating MPs noting their allegiance was to the electorate.

Yesterday’s development marked the third time that the MPs were threatening to oust CS Ndungu over the NG-CDF billions.

Ndung’u, while appearing before the National Assembly Finance and National Planning Committee last month, told off Members of Parliament over their push to release the billions citing a cash crunch that has crippled government operations.

The CS said President William Ruto’s administration had been stretched thin and blamed the lack of NG-CDF funds on reallocations to mitigate drought and flooding calamities.

“In one year, Kenya has gone from one extreme which is drought to another which is floods and in both cases we have allocated recurrent and development budgets to save lives because we have also not being collecting enough taxes,” said Ndung’u.

The CS maintained that the country was laden with liquidity issues given the various debt burdens and asked MPs to be patient as the administration figures out a way to have the funds disbursed before Christmas Day.

MPs from the 290 constituencies receive approximately Sh130 million each in NG-CDF funding from the Exchequer.