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Members of National Assembly tighten further grip on CDF purse

KENYA: Members of National Assembly have moved to further tighten their grip on Constituency Development Fund ( CDF) by ordering removal of district accountants as signatories to the monies.

 Members of the National Assembly

Members of the National Assembly

The MPs yesterday directed CDF board CEO Yusuf Mbuno to withdraw a circular that appointed district accountants as signatories to bank accounts of the kitty.

CDF House committee chairman Moses Lessonet made the order and directed Mbuno not to disperse the Sh21.9 billion to constituencies following an amendment to theCDF Act on Tuesday that revised the formula of sharing the monies.

“As for now, you have no power to determine who the signatories are and in law, the district accountant is not allowed. If you want to invite the wrath of this House, just fail to withdraw that circular by next week,” Lessonet told the CDF boss.

Attempts by Mbuno to explain that the district accountants are signatories by virtue of being representatives of Treasury were thwarted by the committee.

The CDF boss had requested the legislators to formally write to his office for onward transmission to Treasurybut MPs stuck to their guns saying the law is in black and white and it does not recognise district accountants. “It’s cumbersome, unnecessary and a negation of the law for Treasury to play any role in management of CDF through district accountants,” Rariade MP Nicholas Gumbo said.

Rabai MP Kamoti Mwamkale added; “The CDF board committed an illegality by appointing district accountants as signatories. We are simply giving you time to correct this before we summon the entire board to explain.”

Overpaid

Coming two days after MPs stopped the fund manager from being the secretary to CDF committee because that position made him a “superpower”, they now want him to be answerable to them.

Kangundo MP Kyengo Maweu and Vihiga’s Yusuf Chanzu also proposed that CDF Act be further amended to make fund managers report to them instead of the board CEO describing the current officials as the ‘most underworked but most overpaid’ public servants.

“The fund manager should report to the MP who will then hand him over to the CDF chairman at the constituency,” Kyengo said.

By GEOFFREY MOSOKU, The Standard

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