Members of Parliament have warned that thousands of needy, poor, and orphan schoolchildren who fully depend on CDF bursary for fees risk staying at home when learning resumes next year.
The lawmakers claim they have not got the National Government – Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) fund, 6 months ahead of the budgetary year, a state that that is likely to affect the needy students if the funds are not released on time.
“In my constituency, I have not received a coin. Not even the money that should be going to pay CDF staff and committee members,” Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma said.
“We have, like in my constituency, orphans whose entire education depends on CDF bursary. The greatest challenge I have now is that they are asking me how they are going to school,” Kaluma said.
Other MPs also shared the same sentiments including Makadara MP Geroge Aladwa, Gem’s Elisha Odhiambo, and National Assembly’s NG-CDF committee chairman Wafula Wamunyinyi.
“There is no money. We issued bursaries forms. They have been filled and returned. Now they are waiting for the checks because schools are reopening in two weeks but there is no money in the accounts,” Aladwa said.
“I have about 10,000 students… if the money cannot come on time, then I will have to use some Sh5 million that he had saved to pay for them,” he said.
The National Assembly’s NG-CDF committee chairman Wafula Wamunyinyi noted that the situation is critical and has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the economy.
“The economy is very tough because of Covid-19. Revenue collection is at its lowest according to Treasury CS,” Wamunyinyi said.
The National Treasury has channelled Ksh18 billion out of the Sh41 billion budget for this budgetary year according to Kanduyi MP, but Ksh14 billion out of the money distributed was sent to cover the stretches for the last financial year.
On December 16, the government is said to have released Sh2 billion, and another Ksh 4 billion on December 21. Originally, they had issued Sh14 billion but it went to cover the areas for the last fiscal year according to the parliamentarians.
“We want not even money for development outside education but we urgently need the money that can pay our students’ bursaries. That is what will secure them continuity, otherwise, it is going to be tough,” Kaluma said.