MPs oppose Githae bid for Sh400 billion
THE Departmental committee on the Budget has opposed the Vote on Account motion presented to the House by Finance Minister Njeru Githae and vowed to use all means to stop debate on the motion. The minister yesterday tabled a notice for motion in which he seeks to withdraw over Sh400 billion from the Consolidated Fund, a figure which represents one half of recurrent and development budget. The Vote on Account is an instrument the government uses to withdraw money from the consolidated fund pending the enactment of the Appropriation Bill.
Through Chairman Elias Mbau, the committee described the intended motion as unconstitutional and accused Githae of “occasioning a constitutional crisis”. Mbau said the committee was disturbed that the minister thinks MPs are not alive and alert to constitutional issues. “This is an ambush and Githae is committing a heinous act by introducing the Vote on Account motion before he introduces the Appropriation Bill as laid out in the constitution,” he said.
Gwassi MP John Mbadi said the constitution envisages that the Vote on Account can only be brought to the House in case the President has delayed in approving the Appropriation Bill. They said they will only allow debate on Appropriation Bill if it incorporates the recommendations of the committee and approved by the House.
He cited the article 221 of the constitution, the Speaker’s ruling on the matter and the constitutional court ruling, noting that this was bad precedence for future governments. “If the minister is allowed to have his way, it will be clear that the executive has decided that parliament is not necessary in the budget making process,” Mbadi said. The MPs urged the Speaker not allow debate on either Vote on Account motion or the Appropriation Bill if it doesnt incorporate recomendations of the commitee as approved by the House.