MPs threaten to impeach CS Njuguna over CDF billions

Njuguna Ndung'u

Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Economic Planning Prof Njuguna Ndung'u.  

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

MPs have threatened to impeach Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u over delay to disburse National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) billions.

The MPs drawn from both the ruling Kenya Kwanza alliance and Opposition Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition said learners from poor families who depend on bursaries to pay fees risk being turned away from schools.

The lawmakers said the Treasury is yet to disburse even a single cent for CDF despite a promise by President William Ruto to have the funds before schools reopen. National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula had also assured the MPs that the fund would be released by the end of December.

Addressing a press conference at Parliament buildings yesterday, the over 20 MPs issued a seven-day ultimatum to Prof Ndung’u, or else they initiate a censure motion against him. They also threatened to engineer the sacking of NG-CDF chief Executive CEO Yusuf Mbuno over the impasse.

“No single cent has been disbursed in this respect with the consequence that pupils and students are stranded all over the country. We should have received at least 75 percent of the money by now, which is around Sh43 billion, but to date, we haven’t received anything despite some utterances that you may have heard elsewhere,” said Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo (ODM) in a joint press statement.

Other MPs present at the press briefing included John Makali (Kanduyi), Steven Mogaka (West Mugirango), Jack Wamboka (Bumula), Martin Wanyonyi (Webuye East), Mark Mwenje (Embakasi West), James Nyikal (Seme), Joshua Oron (Kisumu Central) and Walter Owino (Awendo) and Majimbo Kalasinga of Kabuchai.

The MPs claimed a memo by the Treasury to CDF accounts manager informing that the fund cannot be released until they recall and redo the proposals they had submitted due to an amendment to the CDF Act.

They asked why the amendments were being introduced in the third quarter of the 2023/24 financial year despite the fact that they only affected less than six percent of NG-CDF funds.

“These amendments should have been considered in the 2024/25 financial year. As a bipartisan team comprising members from both sides, we demand the entire allocation of CDF must be released within seven days as is due. If that is not done we will call for a special sitting of the House and draft an appropriate motion against the CS Treasury and the NG-CDF board,” said the Rarieda MP.

Also present were T.J Kajwang (Ruaraka), Julius Mawathe (Embakasi South), Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga) and Millie Odhiambo (Suba North).

MP Kalasinga (Ford Kenya) claimed that the Treasury had reallocated money meant for CDF to other ministries yet parents and learners have been crowding their CDF offices for bursaries.

“Schools have no classrooms and they are depending on the release of these funds to construct new ones. Children have also reported back to school and are expecting to benefit from the bursaries which unfortunately have not been released from the beginning of this financial year upto now,” said Mr Kalasinga.

The fund is disbursed quarterly, implying that the constituencies should by now have received 75 percent of the monies.

Some MPs said they had issued bursary forms but have no money to give to the needy students.

The lawmakers last month staged a walkout from the House to protest the delay in releasing over Sh53.3 billion NG-CDF cash.

The law sets aside 2.5 percent of the total revenue raised nationally to be shared out among the 290 constituencies.

According to the new Constituency Development Act, the money allocated for bursaries was increased from 35 percent to 40 percent. It means that, out of the Sh53.3 billion, some Sh21.2 billion would go towards bursaries.

Last month, President William Ruto and the National Treasury had assured MPs that the funds would be disbursed before schools reopen.

“I want to assure members that there are resources for our children to go to school. That is not negotiable. We will stop other items,” said President Ruto.

He called out the National Treasury for lying to Parliament that the fund would hit the constituency accounts by December.

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