Health, water and road projects will no longer get money from the Constituency Development Fund after a new law to govern the popular kitty came into effect last Friday. The fund will now be used exclusively to support projects under the functions of the national government. In a circular to all the constituencies, the new outfit came into effect in efforts to legalize the fund following the ruling that outlined that CDF Act 2013 violated division of power and functions between the national and county governments.
The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has been renamed the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF).This means there will now be more money for schools and security-related projects such as police stations and police posts, as well as bursaries. However, CDF is in limbo, as the Treasury and the parliamentary committee that oversees the implementation of the fund, craft the rules and regulations to govern it under the new order.
The coming into effect of the law means CDF committees in constituencies are disbanded. Fresh ones will be set up under the new system that has MPs as more of observers than active participants in deciding how the fund is used. It’s the end of an era after MPs lost their control and management of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects after the new law came into operation. Instead, the MPs’ role will be limited to mobilizing the public to prioritize development projects and forward the recommendations to their respective CDF committees, which will be at liberty to pick which ones to fund in a given financial year. The MPs will, however, continue playing an oversight role over the committees but cannot issue directives on what to implement or leave out.
Set up in 2003, the Fund has been a pet project of MPs, who over the years have been using it to buy loyalty and financial muscle to campaign against their opponents. The National Government Constituencies Development Fund Act 2015 came into effect exactly a year after the High Court on February 20, 2015 declared the former CDF Act unconstitutional.
Sources: nation & standard newspapers