By Richard Orengo Kenya
The grand standing by MPs on the CDF matter is not only a waste of their time but also misleading Kenyans. Their tone and use of the word our supporters betrays their intentions when defending the current structure of the CDF.
I do not have a problem with the CDF nor do I dispute the role the CDF has played in bringing development to our people. But from the current constitution, the structure of CDF is unconstitutional and no any amount of spin by MPs will change that fact. If they were smart as we suspect they should now be busy reviewing other development models to draft an amendment to ensure that the CDF Act is consistent with the constitution.
If we can go back to 2003 when the talk of devolving resources began, CDF was used as a pilot for devolution and our people have confirmed that devolving power to make decision and resources is the only way to sustainable development. Our people have tested the sweet fruits of devolution through the CDF and they should only be given more through Pesa mashinani, prudent use of resources and visible development by the County Government structures.
CDF has shown the good fruits of devolution but it is not good enough because it is too little, not well structured, depended on the national government and in line with that it serves the national government functions at the constituency level and therefore should not be part of national government funds but devolved government funds as structured in this constitution.
I think the constitution is very clear on a number of issues and as we debate we must put the following into perspective to enable MPs amend the act:
Separation of power and functions between, national government and County Governments
Separation of power and functions between Executive, legislature and Judiciary where the three main roles of the MP are: Legislation, Representation and Oversight
MPs are claiming that you are X-Officio of CDF and have no implementation role but all of us know that MPs control the whole process from calling the first public forum to elect the Constituency board to even identification, planning, implementation and oversight of the said projects and in some cases even nepotism in the process.
With the adequate amendments to the CDF act, The national Government Coordination Act and the Devolve governments Act, The Oversight role of the MP would be more helpful even at the county level because it seems the current MCAs have failed to hold the governors accountable and that is why our people donâ€™t have any faith in the County government to manage the CDF considering that some Counties have only spent 1% of their development budget, with high levels of corruption and nepotism while the people continue to languish and suffer.
The MPs can play a more proactive role at the Sub-County to ensure that each Sub-County gets its fair share of the county budget for development. This will block the centralized corruption by Governors and ensure that the people start enjoying the fruits of Devolution.
I think the CDF should remain and the constituency allocation should and can remain but we must do three things:
1. Amend the CDF Act so that the money is allocated per constituency and it comes through the County Government at the Sub County Structure
2. The Sub County allocation should be used purely for development and there should be no budget line for recurrent cost, which should remain in the County government budget
3. The MP should be incorporated in the Sub-County structure as an X-officio to ensure representation and oversight.
This will resolve all the concerns MPs have but also align the CDF funding to the Devolve structures.
The Writer Richard Orengo Kenya is the Managing Partner ROC Associates Consulting