MPs reject bid to cut Judiciary budget

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019 00:00 |
Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu.

Parliament has turned down a request to cut Judiciary’s budget by Sh3 billion through the Supplementary budget.

The National Assembly Budget Committee informed the National Treasury in a meeting yesterday that it will not factor in the budgetary cuts to the Judiciary and the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC).

Treasury had asked the committee for approval to increase spending by 2.8 per cent to Sh3.13 trillion in its 2019/20 budget in a review that saw cuts in the recurrent expenditure.

The report on the Supplementary budget is expected to be tabled this afternoon ready for debate on Thursday as Parliament fasttracks business before going for the long recess starting December 5.

The committee, according to a member, found it unfair to reduce the budget of the two commissions since they were not adequately facilitated in the first place.

Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu said the budgets of the two commissions were not enough to address their needs, hence subjecting them to further cuts would affect their operations.

“The two commissions have been receiving peanuts comparing the scope of work they have.  We found it prudent not to touch their budgets,” Mulu said. And as expected, the committee, chaired by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungw’a, also turned down a request to cut CDF allocation by 30 per cent.

Mulu said the idea to reduce CDF money was ill advised as it was a constitutional requirement that 2.5 per cent of the national budget go to the constituencies.

Live wire

“CDF money is a live wire. You cannot touch it and expect MPs to keep quiet. We will fight to the bitter end,” Mulu added.

Treasury had also reduced PSC’s budget by 50 per cent, mainly affecting foreign travel.

In the budgetary cuts to the Judiciary, Treasury had sliced Sh1.49 billion meant for the dispensation of justice and another Sh1.37 billion meant for providing equitable access to expeditious delivery of judgements.

Following the cuts, the Judiciary came out fighting, saying its operations would  be hampered badly and that most development projects currently underway would have to be halted.

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