According to a story appearing in one of the national dailies, former presidential aspirant Mohammed Abduba Dida has refuted claims that he was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to chair the CDF Board.
Mr Mohammed Abduba Dida is not aware of his appointment as chairman of the Constituency Development Fund Board, he told the Nation on Tuesday evening.
“Who appointed me?” he asked when contacted. “I saw it in the papers like any other Kenyan but I haven’t received a letter from anyone.”
Mr Dida was named chairman of the board up to September 9, 2014 in a special gazette notice dated December 31 and signed by President Kenyatta.
But when contacted by the Nation last evening, he was not convinced that this was true and said he would have been more comfortable to speak about the matter once he saw official communication.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m out of Nairobi for my business and it would be better if I responded after seeing the document or any letter about my appointment. That would be more professional,” he said.
According to chairman of the CDF committee in the National Assembly Moses Lessonet, the appointment of Mr Dida could affect the disbursement of funds to constituencies.
Mr Lessonet (Eldama Ravine, URP) said the board was hamstrung because Mr Dida’s appointment also came with the revocation of the appointment of Ms Jennifer Nafula Barasa.
With the chief executive officer in an acting capacity and the previous chair of the board not in office, he said it would not be possible to have the funds disbursed as the board is needed to approve it.
“The government should follow the law in the appointment of the CDF Board chairman,” he said. The lawmaker said Sh2 million had been disbursed to constituencies since the MPs took the Christmas break.
The board has also approved projects in 110 constituencies and the disbursements cannot be made without a board to oversee that.
“We just want the President to forward Dida’s name to the National Assembly so that the approval of MPs can be sought,” said Mr Lessonet.
The appointment of Mr Dida has been criticised by MPs, with Mr John Mbadi (Suba, ODM) and Mr Nicolas Gumbo (Rarieda, ODM) describing him as a comedian unfit to hold that office.
Mr Dida offered some comic relief when he contested the presidency last year, although he ended up fifth at the polls.
The teacher-turned-businessman, however, became popular for his nuggets of wisdom couched in comical statements.
According to the CDF Act, though, the chairman of the CDF Board should be appointed by Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary, and not the President.
This is not the first time President Kenyatta is making an appointment contrary to the law. He did the same when he appointed Mr John Mututho chairman of National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse and was forced to revoke it.
Mr Mututho was later re-nominated, vetted, cleared and appointed.