REPORT POINTS FINGER OF BLAME
According to a new report by The National Taxpayers Association (NTA), out of the Sh1.8 billion allocated to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) kitty in the 2010/2011 financial year, a whopping Sh242 million cannot be accounted for. The assessment, which the latest in a series that began in 2008 covering CDF and LAFT-funded projects, maintains that a further Sh40.5 million was unaccounted for while abandoned projects cost the CDF kitty Sh22.2 million.
The study into the use of the funds in 28 constituencies also stated that in addition some projects had been poorly done even though Sh179.1 million had already been spent on them.
WORST PERFORMING CONSTITUENCIES
As highlighted on The Standard on January 30, Ikolomani, Isiolo North, Kwhisero, Rongo and Hamisi constituencies were listed as the five worst performing constituencies when it came to managing their CDF allocation.
Former MP Boni Kwalwale’s Ikolomani constituency misused a total of Sh27million, according to the report. Isiolo North, under the leadership of then MP Mohamed Kuti , mismanaged a further Sh29 million. Rongo constituency under Dalmas Otieno MP mislaid Sh 18million.
In Kwhisero constituency under the enlightened leadership of MP Evans Akula, a staggering Sh58.9 million was wasted, a figure amounting to 81.2 per cent of the constituency’s total allocation of Sh61.3.
CONTRACTS WENT TO CDF COMMITTEE MEMBERS
The huge losses were attributed to poor procurement systems which have seen contracts being awarded, in some instances, to contractors from within the CDF committee members.
“This in itself is conflict of interest”, said Martin Napisa, NTA National Coordinator. “It has often compromised the role of CDF committees in monitoring CDF projects”.
On the bright side the report noted that despite the massive misuse and misappropriation of funds in some constituencies, there had been an improvement in the management of the funds compared to previous years. Some 13 per cent of the money was thought to have been badly used, an improvement from 17 per cent in the previous survey.
Wajir West, Belgut, Runyenjes, Magarini and Galole constituencies were ranked the best performing constituencies among the 28 that were reviewed.
The Kenya Forum wished that the NTA report into the misuse of CDF funds had been given greater prominence in the media.10 YEARS OF THE CDF
The ConstituencyDevelopment Fund was introduced in Kenya in 2003 with the passage of the CDF Act 2003 by the 9th Parliament. The CDF Act provides that the government set aside at least 2.5% of its ordinary revenue for disbursement under the CDF program.
It’s now 10 years down the line and the NTA report could not have come at a better time. Parliament was dissolved the other day and the general election is just a month away. The Forum hopes that Kenyans can use some of these pointers as a parameter to assess their aspiring leaders.