Row persists over Kenya civic education cash

May 31, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – The row between the Committee of Experts on Constitution Review (CoE) and Treasury on funding the civic education exercise is now boiling down to the printing of the proposed Constitution and other materials.

It is now emerging that CoE contracted independent printers to produce copies of the draft in Kiswahili and Braille as well as copies of the simplified version, going against a resolution to use the Government Printer.

Capital News has seen minutes of a meeting between the CoE and Treasury held on May 19 that agreed that funds would be channeled directly to the Government Printer for the copies.

A day after the Treasury declared it had disbursed all the funds allocated in the budget, CoE Director Ekuru Aukot came out fighting claiming that Treasury was supposed to allocate them Sh200 million more for printing of the same copies. The minutes, however, indicate that the issue of the Sh200 million was discussed but no commitment was made by Treasury to give the money to CoE.

“When we agreed that they will give us Sh330 million we went ahead to commit this whole amount and that is why we are asking that they should respect their (end) of the bargain,” said the frustrated CoE Director.

A statement by Finance PS Joseph Kinyua sent on Sunday alluded to the difference in opinion by indicating that the printing funds which CoE is now claiming were released to the Government Printer.

There were also indications that donor money already received by CoE would cater for the additional expenses. During the Monday press conference, Dr Aukot was at pains to account for the injection of donor funding amounting to over Sh365 million.

“Some of the money has gone to printing the IIEC materials, T-Shirts, fliers and our participation in the agricultural show,” he said of the money.

The circus has persisted in the last month, with Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta being accused by the CoE and civil society organisations of sabotaging the review process.

On Sunday, Mr Kenyatta and Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua however separately said they had released all the monies allocated in the budget attracting the disappointment of the Committee which says it has resorted to seeking donor support after frustrations from Treasury.

The CoE had forwarded a budget of Sh330 million for the month-long exercise which included printing of the various versions, publicity and the operation costs for the 15 regional coordinators and 210 civic educators.

The Treasury has released Sh100 million to the committee for the operation costs.

“As to whether this is sabotage, your guess is as good as mine,” said Dr Aukot.


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