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Fate of Millions of Students Hangs in Balance After CDF is Declared Illegal

Fate of Millions of Students Hangs in Balance After CDF is Declared Illegal.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has indicated that the government will not disburse funds allocated to the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) kitty.

Yatani said due to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the fund is illegal.

The fate of millions of school-aged children who rely on the NG-CDF kitty for their fees hangs in the balance.

Education has always been the main recipient of the NG-CDF.

Between 2016 and 2022, education received 71.36 percent of the funds, while other areas received between 6 and 1 percent.

According to NG-CDF, at least 6 million children have received bursaries totaling Ksh.57 billion over the past five years.

Several educational institutions have gotten facelifts, while others have been built from scratch, thanks to the fund.

With less than a week till the start of the third school term, many students who rely on the NG-CDF fund to keep them in school are in a bind.

“As far as I am concerned the Supreme Court has pronounced the CDF as it is, is illegal and therefore we are not going to disburse funds but we will seek advice from the Attorney General for further direction because I know it is a very sensitive matter and one that members of the National Assembly hold dear,” said Yatani.

The High Court had already ruled that the 2013 CDF Act was unconstitutional because it violated the concept of separation of powers.

The Supreme Court upheld the ruling at the beginning of last month, leaving legislators uncertain about the destiny of the kitty.

MPs have vigorously backed CDF because it affects their political futures in addition as altering lives.

CDF CEO Yusuf Mbonu, who addressed MPs in a closed-door session, encouraged them to work with them to defend the NG-CDF Act 2015, which is now in effect, and to have the fund enshrined in the Constitution.

The NG-CDF board announced that Ksh.417 billion will have been contributed to the fund between 2003 and 2023.

In a lengthy statement, Chief Justice Martha Koome pronounced the CDF null and unconstitutional since the fund violates the separation of duties between the national and county governments.

“More recently in the CDF Case (2022), the Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to allocate funds to the CDF before the division of revenue between the national and county governments,” said the CJ through a Recorded Televised Address to Senators attending an induction retreat in Naivasha.

After a morning session in retreat on Thursday, CS Yatani stated that he will now seek the counsel of Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, while stressing that the Treasury’s position remains consistent with the Supreme Court’s declaration.

Fate of Millions of Students Hangs in Balance After CDF is Declared Illegal.

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