Third Eye

Why success of NG-CDF is part of Uhuru’s legacy

Sunday, October 31st, 2021 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo/File

Part of President Uhuru  Kenyatta legacy that should be evaluated is the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF). 

I was in my native Suna East constituency in Migori and I must give credit to both my MP and the national government for expeditious disbursement of funds to bridge development gaps at the constituency level. 

I interacted with different groups and they were all unanimous that they have good roads even at the remotest parts of the county. They were also happy with the schools. 

While in primary school, the first thing we did in the morning was to fetch water from the river which we used to sprinkle  on floors of our classes to reduce the dust.

Never mind that in some of these primary schools, the numbers outweighed the brick-and-mortar infrastructure and in Migori Primary, for instance some classes had to be undertaken in shifts. 

In my Nyikendo village, the only primary school around had pupils who rarely transitioned to the next level because, other than lack of school fees, secondary schools were few and far between and the cost of access was beyond many families. 

But today, thanks to NG-CDF, more secondary schools have been established.

Most of the children who wouldn’t have otherwise had access to secondary education have schools around and almost zero cost of access.

In Nyikendo Primary for example, the transition to secondary school is almost 100 per cent.

But all these are because since 2013, when Parliament enacted the NG-CDF Act  to align the CDF act to the 2010 Constitution, the national government has consistently released funds to support the MPs in a fairly structured fashion. 

In the last financial year, all the 290 constituencies got Sh137 million NG-CDF. In my village it does seem that the citizens, some fairly oblivious of the functions of the fund and the MP, are in agreement it has worked.

When they say that they have good rural roads and solid schools, they are lauding the MP and NG-CDF. 

What NG-CDF has delivered is definitely part of Uhuru’s legacy that is not pronounced as much as it should because we live in a country where MPs will not tell you that they have had more than Sh130 million yearly since 2016. 

As we speak, Treasury has released Sh10.4 billion for disbursement to constituencies with approved projects for the current financial year. 

Between August and end of September 2021, the Treasury has released a total of Sh10.4 billion to the board as part of the Sh41.7 billion allocated to the NC-CDF in the financial year ending June 2022. 

Each of the 290 constituencies will receive Sh137,088,879 to finance national government development in the current financial year.

Treasury has complied with Section 39(2) of the CDF Act which requires that 25 per cent of each constituency allocation be released at the start of every quarter of the financial year.

You will not hear MPs talk about this, but you will certainly have a few anti-government MPs talk of State capture of Parliament. 

How do they explain this capture when they have such resources to address the development gaps at the most local of development units? 

Today, the best yardstick for evaluating the performance of your MP is to access what your MP has done with the millions he or she has received to address the national government development projects in your constituency. 

I have agreed and disagreed with my MP on a few pertinent issues, but if I was to evaluate him on performance and utilisation of NG-CDF, I would be the first one in the queue to vote for him. [email protected]

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