Members of Parliament who gather for the next House of Assembly in August are not going to enjoy some of the privileges that existed in their dockets under the previous government. Last month the Salaries and Remuneration Commission released its proposed remuneration structure for state jobs and the maximum pay an MP can earn was pegged at Sh 740,927. Meanwhile a new regulation relating to the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) now bars MP’s from direct authority over the fund.
CDF ACT 2013
According to the CDF Act 2013, the roles of an MP have been reduced to being purely an overseer of the fund. The Act gives MPs a mere ceremonial role of mobilizing community members for project identification.
MPS STOLE THE CASH
Previously MPs were supposed to facilitate the election of boards that would oversee the identification of development projects, and the bidding and procurement processes but as we all know there were cases where some MPs picked their cronies to chair and constitute the boards, while others simply misappropriated the cash.
CDF BOARDS ACCOUNTABLE
Under the new system the administration of the CDF has purely been left in the hands of the CDF Board which will act as the Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) and its holders will now be accountable for any loss or misappropriation of funds.
The Board however, will consult with the MP on the proposed names of people to sit in the CDF committee before they are presented to parliament. The Act also mandates MPs to convene Ward forums to discuss development progress in the constituency.
The Kenya Forum hopes that the change of regulations under the CDF Act 2013 proves to be a good move that will ensure CDFs are used for the purposes they were intended, not for buying an MP’s wife a new 4×4 Landcruiser!
… BUT START WORTHWHILE PROJECTS
The Forum would add one other point, however. The ending of outright fraud in the handling of CDF projects is one matter but almost of equal importance is the need to ensure that CDF projects are worthwhile in the first place.
Travelling around Kenya this correspondent is often struck by the number of dilapidated, rusting, never-used CDF projects that one passes. An ill-conceived CDF project is almost as big a waste of money as one whereby the funds were just stolen in the first place.