Mt Kenya MPs push for review of law to have CDF, bursaries disbursed based on population

Sunday, February 12th, 2023 14:51 | By
Thika Town MP Alice Ng'ang'a (second left) on an inspection tour of CDF projects at Jamuhuri Primary and Secondary schools. PHOTO/Oliver Musembi

A section of legislators from Kiambu and Murang'a counties are pushing for a review of the law to have Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and school bursary allocations disbursed based on population.

The lawmakers say heavily populated elective areas have been getting a raw deal when it comes to government funding, particularly education bursaries and CDF cash transfers.

They include Alice Ng'ang'a (Thika Town), Simon King'ara (Ruiru), George Koimburi (Juja) and Edward Muriu (Gatanga) who represent some of the areas that have come to be dubbed as "super constituencies."

Terming the current formula that allocates all the constituencies equal amounts as an unfair band favouring less populated areas, the MPs said they will lobby other parliamentarians in the region to back the amendment.

For instance, the Thika Town MP said she represents two sub-counties; Thika East and Thika West with a combined population of over 400,000 but gets a similar allocation with constituencies with 30,000 to 40,000 residents.

"We are not calling for a review of boundaries or creating more elective areas. Therefore we are lobbying our colleagues in areas with large populations like Kasarani, Embakasi, Mwea and other constituencies so that there is fairness in the allocation of resources," Ms. Ng'ang'a said.

She disclosed that so far 25,600 students have applied for bursaries in the constituency which gets Sh 30 million yearly for learners from poor families.

"If we share the money equally, each deserving applicant will get only Sh 1,000 whereas we know some constituencies can afford to pay for aviation courses to the tune of Sh 1 million per student through the bursary fund. There is no fairness in the current allocation formula," Ms. Ng'ang'a said.

She was speaking to journalists after inspecting CDF classrooms at the newly established Jamuhuri Secondary School and the neighbouring Jamuhuri Primary Schools in Thika town in efforts to ease congestion brought by the Junior Secondary School wing.

So far the primary school has admitted 65 JSS learners in the only one available classroom, out of 112 who are seeking enrollment there.

King'ara who represents about 700,000 people and also serves two sub-counties; Ruiru and Githurai, has similarly raised the matter, emphasizing the need for fairness in the allocations.

He cited the huge number of students from the area joining institutions of higher learning which makes bursary disbursal inadequate.

"If we were to disburse the bursary money allocated equally to all the over 70,000 applicants, each learner would get only about Ksh100,"; King'ara observed recently.

Koimburi and Muriu have raised similar concerns and appealed to their counterparts from the Mt Kenya region to join in the push for the amendments.

Muriu said he represents a vast area with two sub-counties; Gatanga and Kakuzi in which over 85,000 students have applied for bursaries this year.

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