Usawa Agenda Wants Bursary Distribution Centralized
If a lobbying group’s proposal is implemented, students will soon be required to apply for all bursaries through a single entity.
Usawa Agenda now demands that a single national institution administer all types of scholarships.
The lobbying group presented this suggestion to the Presidential Working Group on Education Reforms on Friday.
According to the lobbying group’s executive director, Emmanuel Manyasa, this will minimize the number of “games” performed with beneficiaries.
“Through one, apolitical national institution with decentralized structures that go down to the ward level,” Manyasa said.
The Jomo Kenyatta Foundation was presented as the most qualified organization to assume responsibility.
He added that the mechanisms at the ward level would be accountable for identifying poor kids.
“Working with the communities to ascertain their level of need and recommend the cases to the higher levels for bursaries,” he said.
He stated that the team would subsequently make public the monies distributed to needy students.
This information will be divided by county, constituency, and ward.
“It would also enhance efficiency and reach more beneficiaries in a meaningful way,” he added.
The supreme court decided that permitting members of parliament to administer the funds violates the statute on the Division of Revenue and Public Finance.
Members of Parliament have threatened to reject the supplementary budget if the CDF money is not given by the end of next week.
Junet Mohamed, the minority whip and representative for Suna East, stated that the only language the executive can comprehend is to reject the Supplemental budget.
“The supplementary budget is coming in two weeks, I want to plead with the House that we should not pass the supplementary budget if there is no CDF, that’s the language the executive will understand,” he said.
In a letter to the National Assembly, Treasury stated that the Attorney General must issue an opinion about the Supreme Court decision that found the CDF illegal.
According to minority leader Opiyo Wandayi, Treasury is leading the house in circles.
Kimani Ichungwa, leader of the majority, stated that the Treasury should expedite the procedure and issue a report on the topic as soon as possible.
Kakai Bisau, a member of parliament for Kiminini, stated that the CDF money is a heavy topic, adding that youngsters in his constituency are eager to attend school.
“We expect a very comprehensive statement and feedback, on when the funds will be disbursed,” he said.
In addition, the parliamentarians want Treasury CS Njuguna Ndungu and Attorney General Justin Muturi to appear before the Parliament.
The NG-CDF allocation for the 2022/23 fiscal year is Sh44,2 billion.
MPs aimed their arsenals at the Treasury on Wednesday, accusing the CS of hiding behind a Supreme Court verdict that, according to them, merely prohibited the obsolete CDF Act of 2013.
The fund is currently administered per the 2015 National Government Constituency Development Fund Act, which has not been deemed unconstitutional.
Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi stated that the Supreme Court’s decision did not affect the NG-CDF Act and questioned why the Treasury hesitates to disburse the monies.
“There is no evidence that National Treasury have been served with court orders barring them from disbursing CDF,” Wandayi said.
The legislator from Ugunja stated that the CS is leading the House in circles for no cause, as the Supreme Court decision never addressed the NG-CDF Act.
“I am not saying we shall go on strike but we can stop business until NG-CDF is disbursed,” he said.
Speaker Moses Wetang’ula tasked Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah with contacting the Treasury CS on the three-month-long delay in disbursement since the 13th Parliament convened.
Ichung’wah informed the House on Wednesday that the Treasury has requested legal counsel from the Attorney General’s Office and is awaiting the AG’s response before disbursement.
The MPs alleged that the Treasury treated the House contemptuously, threatening to scuttle the supplemental budget until the CDF funds were deposited into the constituency accounts.
Minority Whip Junet Mohammed suggested that the House consider laying down its arms, noting that this is the only language the Executive knows.
According to the Suna East representative, there is a conspiracy between the Executive and the Judiciary to make Parliament appear “useless.”
John Gitonga, member of parliament for Manyatta, cautioned that several Form 4 pupils enrolled in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education are at risk of missing the national examination due to the enormous fee balances that are typically covered by local bursaries.
Muturi and Ndung’u will jointly address the issue before the NG-CDF committee. The committee will provide the date.