New MPs-Elect vows to revive CDF during the first session of the 13th Parliament after the Supreme Court decision.
Members of the 13th Parliament promised yesterday that the reactivation of the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) will be a top priority during the first session.
Both the High Court and the Supreme Court ruled against the fund, citing the doctrine of the separation of powers and holding that MPs cannot carry out initiatives and programs while still serving in oversight capacities as specified in the Constitution.
Speaking at a training session at the Parliament Buildings, the New MPs-Elect claimed that contrary to what some critics believed, the Fund was utilized to help ordinary Kenyans rather than MPs.
Farah Maalim, the newly elected Dadaab MP, allayed concerns that the fund had been dissolved as a result of a Supreme Court decision.
According to the Maalim, the apex court suspended the 2013 Act but the 2015 one — which NGCDF operates on — is still active.
“What the court did is to suspend the 2013 CDF Act, but the NGCDF, which was established by the 2015 Act, is still active,” Maalim said.
Kirinyaga Woman Representative-elect Jane Njeri Maina said it would be difficult for MPs to operate without NGCDF, adding that the legislators would prioritize its reinstatement.
“The Fund has worked marvelously since inception and should be retained at all cost. It has bettered the lives of our people in many ways. We will vigorously fight for it,” said the youthful MP.
Nyali MP Mohamed Ali said the thirteenth Parliament would have no option but to defend the fund, adding that as legislators, they have suffered the same situation in the past but have never failed to protect the kitty.
Legislators have previously used the kitty for community development projects.
The NCDF Board’s chief executive, Yusuf Mbuno, made a supplementary statement to clarify that the present distribution to the CDF fund is based on provisions of the NCDF Act of 2015, which was repealed, rather than the 2013 Act, which the court had revoked.
Mbuno claimed that the CDF kitty has now received a Sh44 billion allocation from Parliament for the 2022–2023 fiscal year, bringing relief to thousands of beneficiaries.
He continued by saying that this year, in order to pay for the residents’ urgently needed infrastructural needs and services, the monies allotted to the kitty increased from Sh41.7 billion to Sh44 billion.
The CDF kitty was first introduced in 2003 by the government.
It has seen billions of shillings channeled to constituencies to achieve equitable development and rectify economic imbalances in Kenya.