Kenyan Minister takes funding row to Cabinet

June 2, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 2 – Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo has now petitioned Prime Minister Raila Odinga to convene a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on finance to resolve the civic education funding row.

Mr Kilonzo told Capital News in an interview that he was yet to receive commitment from the PM’s office on the meeting. Mr Kilonzo said the Treasury’s refusal to release an expected Sh200 million to the Committee of Experts (CoE) for civic education needed “higher intervention.”

“I am waiting for the PM to call a meeting so they can tell us where the money is, because he is the supervisor of government,” he said.

He said his efforts to convince Treasury PS Joseph Kinyua and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to release the funds had been unsuccessful.  Last week, the Treasury said the money CoE was claiming had already been allocated to the Government Printer to print the proposed Constitution.

“By saying they have allocated the money to the printer they are saying, sorry we have spent the money for you.  I cannot accept that,” he said.

The CoE had drawn a budget of Sh330 million for the civic education program, but only received Sh100 million leaving them with a deficit of Sh230 million. Part of the money is now owed to suppliers.

The Treasury has remained on the spot over the funds with wide raging accusations that it was deliberately sabotaging the review process.

“We are sabotaging the fourth organ of review which is the people’s opinion because when you want people to say Yes or No to a document they don’t know of, you are undermining them,” said Mr Kilonzo.

The Minister said problems started during budgetary allocations where requests by CoE of Sh1.5 billion were reduced to Sh591 million.

“When I asked about it I was told it will be rectified during the supplementary budget estimates. When the estimates were read this was not factored,” he said.

“I was later to be informed that the funding would be drawn from the Agenda 4 kitty,” he said.

The Minister wants Mr Kenyatta to account to the Cabinet sub-committee the whereabouts of Sh2 billion set aside for Agenda 4 items in the budget.

"Those saying there is no money are lying because it means money that was intended for Agenda 4 was misappropriated,” he said adding; “We have not as a ministry in charge of Agenda 4 spent a shilling of the kitty,” he affirmed.


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