MPs set aside four days to debate Ruto speech starting tomorrow


President William Ruto flanked by speaker of the National assembly (left) and Senate speaker Amason Kingi adrresses the 13th Parliament on September 29, 2022. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG

MPs in both Houses will set aside four days to debate a 33-minute speech that President William made during the inaugural Joint Sitting of the 13th Parliament.

The National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Boss is scheduled to initiate debate on Dr Ruto’s address to MPs that was delivered in Parliament last Thursday, September 29.

The four-day debate is scheduled to commence tomorrow morning.

Dr Ruto addressed a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the Senate in a speech that MPs hailed as raising critical issues touching on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and Senate Oversight Fund.

Dr Ruto also told MPs that he will respect the doctrine of separation of powers.

He also promised to work with the House leadership to have Cabinet Secretaries appear before lawmakers for questioning to enhance the oversight work of MPs.

MPs are expected to use the four days to defend the National Government Constituencies Development (NG-CDF) after the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional.

A bench of five judges led by Chief Justice Martha Koome last month ruled that the CDF Act, 2013 violates the principle of separation of powers, hence is unconstitutional.

A group of NGOs led by The Institute for Social Accountability (Tisa) has been fighting the CDF since May 2016 on grounds that it infringes on the doctrine of separation of powers since by administering the CDF, legislators would be doing the job of the executive.

Each constituency receives at least Sh137 million every year and the legislators have used the kitty for community development projects.

The CDF Act, 2013 was first declared unconstitutional in 2015 but Parliament appealed the case.

While addressing MPs last week, Dr Ruto asked MPs to take measures to protect the Sh44.3 billion CDF and establish an oversight kitty for Senators to oversight cash transfers to counties.

Dr Ruto told MPs to align the NG-CDF to the requirements of the Constitution to save the kitty.

“I know the contribution the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) has made in making life better for our citizens,” Dr Ruto said.

“I believe there is a way NG-CDF can be aligned to the tenets of the Constitution.

The National Treasury two weeks ago announced it will not allocate monies to the NG-CDF following the Supreme Court’s judgment that declared it unconstitutional.

Dr Ruto called for the creation of the oversight fund for the Senate to monitor the expenditure of Sh370 billion that is sent to the 47 counties annually.

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