TOWELS

MP Sankok alleges irregular shift of Sh450m sanitary towels cash

MP David Sankok says tenders for supply of the towels already advertised

In Summary

• Budget making is a preserve of Parliament and hence state agencies must seek approval before effecting any changes to allocated funds.

• Concerns are that the sanitary towels funds have been moved without the House's nod.

Sanitary towels./COURTESY
Sanitary towels./COURTESY

The National Assembly has embarked on investigations into claims that some State departments have reallocated funds to other entities without its authority.

This followed allegations by Nominated MP David Sankok that Sh450 million meant for sanitary towels were moved from the Public Service to the Education ministries.

The lawmaker further claimed in the chambers yesterday that he has information on Ifmis data showing that a restricted tender for the supply the towels has been advertised.

 

Sankok said it was regrettable the procurement, which he further claims is restricted, was done without the approval of Parliament.

“The House does not make laws in vain. We have gone through a vigorous budget making process and in the committee of labour we had put Sh450 million for sanitary towels,” the Jubilee MP said.

The matter elicited debate with MPs saying the Executive must not be allowed to circumvent Parliamentary approvals on budgetary allocations.

Homa Bay Woman MP Gladys Wanga said appropriation of funds rests with Parliament adding that the claim must be dealt with to avoid such occurrences.

“This House should pronounce itself on this concern of ministries reallocating funds behind Parliament. If we let it continue, we will risk losing the budget making function of Parliament,” she said.

But, Minority leader John Mbadi said there was nothing wrong in ministries moving funds as long as they don’t apportion them for other programmes.

“We adopted a programme-based budget to avert reallocations to the detriment of planned projects. There is no problem if the funds are shifted between ministries as long as they are within the stipulated programmes,” the Suba South MP said.

 

“The Executive can organize itself as the money is within the programme. Unless the Sankok case is a different matter, some of the concerns he is raising is not clear,” Mbadi said.

Speaker Justin Muturi said every government ministry is aware of the House resolutions adding that Parliament’s attention be drawn in the event any agency contravenes the same.

For his part, Majority leader Aden Duale (Garissa Township) said Sankok had raised a serious matter but did not follow the due procedure.

“The chair of Labour can call both the CS for Public Service and Education to respond to the question,” the MP said, adding that there would be no cause for alarm if the money was moved with the programme it was to cater to.

The ministry of education has been in charge of the sanitary towels programme before MPs advised that the programme be handed to the Gender ministry.