• The Bill is co-sponsored by Matungulu MP Stephen Mule and his Gichugu counterpart Gichimu Githinji.
• Speaking in Mombasa during their ongoing induction, the legislators faulted their counterparts for overlooking them when coming up with the Bill.
MPs’ fresh bid to entrench the CDF in the Constitution could be thwarted after senators threatened to shoot down the proposed constitutional Bill.
Senators have laughed off the proposal in the draft Constitution (Amendment) Bill, to allocate 0.001 per cent of the national government's revenue towards the oversight fund. They threatened to reject the entire document.
The Bill is co-sponsored by Matungulu MP Stephen Mule and his Gichugu counterpart Gichimu Githinji.
Speaking in Mombasa during their ongoing induction, the legislators faulted their counterparts for overlooking them when coming up with the Bill.
“If there is anything that senators must never allow, it is a situation where the National Assembly sits and allocates anything to the Senate,” Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua said.
The Deputy Minority leader charged that the Senate must push back for withdrawal of the proposed amendments to allow for a joint working group with equal representation from both Houses.
“Parliament is established by the same article, the same sentence of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. What makes any leader in the National Assembly think that the assembly can unilaterally legislate on behalf of the Senate?” he posed.
“What is the rationale for the five per cent for NG-CDF and 0.001 per cent for the Senate oversight?”
The Bill is set to be subjected to pre-publication scrutiny by the concerned committee of the National Assembly before it is published and introduced for first reading.
It seeks to entrench the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF), National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), Senate Oversight Fund, and the Economic Stimulus and Empowerment Fund.
The Bill allocates 0.25 per cent of the national government revenue to NGAAF and 0.001 per cent to the Senate Oversight Fund.
It increases allocation to CDF from the current 2.5 per cent to five per cent of the national revenue.
For the Economic Stimulus and Empowerment Fund, the lawmakers want the kitty to provide for programmes relating to the empowerment of men, women, youth, and people with disabilities.
The proposal follows the Supreme Court ruling that declared the CDF Act 2013 unconstitutional.
Speaking at the induction, Machakos Senator Agnes Kavindu questioned the rationale behind the allocation of 0.001 per cent.
“That money is too little for us. For some of us, our counties are vast,” Kavindu said.
Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni said, “How do you feel about the issue of majoritarianism? Our colleagues have come up with a bill giving themselves five per cent for CDF and some token of 0.001 per cent to the Senate.”
“In a proper approach, there should have been a discussion between these two Houses and agree what percentage should be given to the Senate and what percentage should be given to the National Assembly.”
Majority Whip Boni Khalwale held that while the proposed allocation of 0.001 per cent may seem small, the actual figure could be enough for oversight depending on what is pegged based on.
“It is 0.001 per cent of what? Ours is oversight and if it is 0.001 per cent of the ordinary revenue, which is about Sh2 trillion, then that is a lot of money,” he said.
Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna termed the Bill "absolutely contemptuous".
“The Senate certainly wasn’t consulted and we wonder how the figure was arrived at. We in the Senate will not support that amendment until and unless we are fully involved,” he said.
Taita Taveta Senator Johannes Mwaruma, who was the session chair when the matter was raised by Kisii Senator Richard Onyonka, ruled that they would hold a kamkunji (informal meeting) in Nairobi to discuss the Bill.
“This is a big issue that we cannot discuss here and come up with the proper direction. I rule that we hold a Kamkunji next week to discuss it,” he said.