- Senators have now formed a committee to scrutinise the proposed bill seeking to entrench the National Government –Constituency Development Fund in the Constitution.
- This comes days after the lawmakers threatened to defeat the constitutional amendment bill for lack of consultation by the sister House.
Senators have now formed a committee to scrutinise the proposed bill seeking to entrench the National Government –Constituency Development Fund in the Constitution.
This comes days after the lawmakers threatened to defeat the constitutional amendment bill for lack of consultation by the sister House.
In an informal meeting, commonly known as Kamkunji held on Wednesday, the senators picked a team of four lawyers to look into the Supreme Court and lower Court’s judgements that outlawed the NG-CDF.
They include senior counsel Okong’o Omogeni (Nyamira), William Cheptumo (Baringo), Hillary Sigei (Bomet) and Catherine Mumma (nominated).
They will look at the constitutionality of the bill, the Supreme Court judgement and the structure of the fund and advice the House accordingly, lest Parliament be embarrassed in court, again.
In the meeting chaired by Speaker Amason Kingi, the senators also tasked the committee look into the proposed bills.
“We have asked the committee to thoroughly scrutinise the judgement. We don’t want to be embarrassed again,” Makueni senator Dan Maanzo told the Star moments after the meeting held at the senate chambers.
“It is just important for us to make it right from the beginning. I also urge my colleagues in the National Assembly who are coming up with this bill to thoroughly scrutinize the Supreme Court judgement lest the bill suffer at the hands of the court,” he added.
The proposed Bill co-sponsored by Matungulu MP Stephen Mule and his Gichugu counterpart Gichimu Githinji, also establishes Senate Oversight Fund (SOF) and entrenches National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF).
The two lawmakers are proposing to increase allocation to the NG-CDF kitty from 2.5 per cent of national revenue to five per cent, NGAAF to have 0.25 per cent and senate oversight fund (SOF) 0.001 per cent of the national revenue.
A bench of five judges led by Chief Justice Martha Koome ruled that the CDF Act (2013) violates the principle of separation of powers, hence was unconstitutional.
While overturning the Court of Appeal decision that upheld the CDF Act, the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to the extent that it sought to extend the national government’s mandate to counties.
“Our aim is that these funds are protected in the constitution from this year until the time God will allow us on this planet. We are not relenting in this journey whatever comes,” said Mule.
Last week, the senators rejected the proposed bill and faulted their National Assembly colleagues 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.