MPs’ fury as 21 regions lose Sh7m each in new CDF rule
Members of Parliament (MPs) have expressed fury at an amendment passed to the National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) in June that will see 21 constituencies losing about Sh7 million each annually.
The MPs, including serving more than one term, could not understand how the amendment, which affects allocations each constituency will get, was passed in the House without any objections.
At a closed-door session on Tuesday evening, the MPs whose constituencies will lose funds protested the move, saying this will disadvantage them as they had already planned and settled on projects to undertake.
Lawmakers, who are attending a five-day induction session but did not want to be named said the allocations should have been maintained as it was initially.
“It is really unfair to reduce NG-CDF allocation. We should have maintained the initial allocation where we were getting equal allocation,” said a member who sought anonymity.
The shocker came after NG-CDF Board chief executive Yusuf Mbuno informed the lawmakers that the sharing revenue had changed following the passage of the amendment of Section 34 of the NG-CDF Act, 2015 that introduced a new budget ceiling for constituencies.
Mbuno told the lawmakers that the new allocation formula will address the aspects of equity and equality as envisioned in the Constitution.
Unlike before where they received equal allocations of Sh138 million, in the new amendment the funds will be shared depending on the number of wards each constituency has.
Constituencies with more than eight wards will now get Sh165 million while those with less than three wards will now get Sh131 million. Amendment proposes that the 290 constituencies equally share 75 per cent of the annual NG-CDF allocation, with the rest distributed based on the number of wards in each constituency.
New formula mirrors allocation of funds to the 47 counties where the devolved units get varying amounts based on a range of parameters such as population size, land area, health care and roads.
There are 1,450 wards countrywide based on the delimitation of electoral areas by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission following the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.
In the current Financial Year, the National Treasury allocated Sh44.3 billion to be shared among the 290 constituencies.
Sirisia lawmaker John Waluke, whose constituency has been affected, confirmed that Members learnt of the amendment after they were informed by Mbuno.
He protested the amendment, saying he will now be forced to reduce the number of development projects that he had intended to initiate. “I had planned to construct five storey buildings to be used as classes, now I will have to amend this. I have been told I can only construct two classes. This is unfair.”
But Kamukunji lawmaker Yusuf Hassan, welcomed the move, saying the sharing of revenue for NG-CDF should be made based on population.
He said it is unfair to share revenue equally yet there are some constituencies with huge populations compared to others that have less than 100,000 people.
“I believe it is a small sacrifice to lose about Sh7 million. We cannot all get equal allocations as some of our constituencies are huge. We need to have equitable sharing of revenue,” he said.
But despite the review of NG-CDF, Mbuno assured the lawmakers that the fund is still operational despite a Supreme Court ruling declaring the original CDF as illegal.
Mbuno clarified that the Apex court never termed the current NG-CDF as unconstitutional but instead ruled on the 2013 Act, which had initially formed CDF.
In its verdict, the Supreme Court found that the 2013 law allowing MPs to manage funds offends division of revenue and public finance law.