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January 17, 2019

Uhuru’s freeze order can’t override Parliament - MP

Lugari MP Ayub Savula with Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali in Kakamega on June 11,2018
Lugari MP Ayub Savula with Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali in Kakamega on June 11,2018

Lugari MP Ayub Savula has faulted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to freeze new projects as an attempt to repeal the budget without going through Parliament.

Savula said the President’s executive order cannot override Parliament “because it is not law”.

On Friday, the President issued an executive order freezing any new development project before stalled old projects are completed.

This was as Deputy President William Ruto was in Kakamega county to launch the Kenya Medical Training College, Navakholo campus.

In essence, the order means cash allocated to new projects in the 2018-19 budget will remain idle or be redirected to stalled projects through a supplementary budget.

“The budget is divided into two expenditures — development and recurrent. We know how much we have allocated to development and the projects that will be implemented. We shall follow up to ensure we conform with the budgetary process,” he said. “We will not allow blanket executive order that bans development in the country”.

Savula said Parliament must stand firm and ask the President to follow the due process, if he feels he wants to substitute the new projects factored in the budget for the ongoing ones. He said that only the Legislature has the mandate to decide on how taxes should be spent, and the Executive must stick to its implementation role.

Savula said the President and the Deputy President should work together for the sake of development.

“There is a big rift within Jubilee and this is does not bode well for Kenyans. The division is sending a wrong signal to Kenyans that the two leaders are not working together, despite being elected on one ticket,” he said.

“For example, when the President freezes new projects on a day his deputy is launching new ones, it confirms the two are not reading from the same script,” he said.

The MP also said the government should ensure the ongoing evictions from the Mau Forest are carried out humanely.

“We are looking bad in the eyes of the international community in terms of human rights based on what is going on in Mau. The government should respect titles and resettle those with genuinely acquired deeds,” he said.

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