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Monday, December 6, 2021

Parliamentary committee raise flag over Constituency Fund

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A Parliamentary Committee has raised concern over failure by Treasury to release development funds to constituencies.

The National Government- Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) committee, said that only paltry 10 per cent of the funds for development and bursary had been released in the 2020-21 financial year.

The move to deny constituencies funds will see some upcoming projects and plans to construct more classes as part of measures set by the Ministry of Health to contain the spread of Covid-19 not be realized.

Members of the committee visited Gilgil in Nakuru County where they commended ongoing projects terming the constituency as one of the top in the country.

Robert Tongi (Nyaribari Chache) called on the Treasury to prioritize the funds as they were critical in development issues and bursaries.

“Constituencies have only received ten percent of the annual allocation from the State and its time this was addressed so that we can construct more classrooms,” said Tongi.

He noted that millions of students across the country heavily relied on bursaries from NG-CDF adding that failure to release the funds had affected learning.

“We understand that the government is facing a financial crisis due to the pandemic that affected all sectors but the Treasury should disburse the remaining funds to constituencies,” he said.

Tongi praised the Gilgil NG-CDF team for a job well done and challenged other leaders to benchmark using the constituency.

On her part, Gilgil MP Martha Wangari admitted that failure to fully disburse the funds had affected the learning of many students.

She noted that 30 percent of the funds in her constituency were used for bursary targeting hundreds of students from poor families and the rest for development.

“In Oljorai area we have recorded an increase in cases of teenage pregnancies at the height of Covid-19 and we cannot allow these girls who rely on bursary to remain at home,” said Wangari.

This was echoed by Turbo Member of Parliament Janet Sitenei who accused the treasury of dilly dallying, terming the released cash as a “drop in the ocean,.”

“We are urging treasury to release the remaining funds as quickly as possible,” said the legislator.

She expressed her concerns that some of the spelt-out measures to combat Covid-19 might not be achieved due to congestion in some of the classrooms.

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