NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 24 – Gatanga Member of Parliament Peter Kenneth trumps the rest of the field of presidential aspirants, when it comes to the best use of development funds, a report has shown.
A survey by the National Taxpayers Association (NTA) indicated that if the aspirants were to be sized up on their competence for the top seat by the use of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) resources, Kenneth was the best placed candidate for the job.
“Gatanga has performed very well. We did not find one constituent complaining about the projects. They even have a recording studio in the constituency that will benefit the youth,” NTA acting National Coordinator Martin Napisa said.
On the other hand, Saboti (Eugene Wamalwa), Mwingi North (Kalonzo Musyoka) and Eldoret North (William Ruto) are the constituencies that were in need of dire improvement according to the report.
Some of the grievances of constituents were stalled projects from as far back as 2006, poorly laid infrastructure such as roads and piping, virtually non-existent maintenance after a project is complete and insufficient funding.
Eight constituencies were sampled including Gatundu South (Uhuru Kenyatta), Gichugu (Martha Karua), Langata (Raila Odinga) and Sabatia (Musalia Mudavadi).
In May this year, NTA revealed that Sh363 million had been misappropriated in 34 constituencies. However, the misuse of CDF resources has been on a steady decline over the last three years, according to the NTA.
Napisa said the rate of misused CDF resources came down from 29 percent in 2010 to 16 percent this year; compared to the Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATF) that shot up from 25 percent to 50 percent.
Absorption of development funds has been generally poor in the country, with the Year on Year rate at 55.1 percent for development expenditure compared to 84 percent of recurrent expenditure for the 2011/2012 Financial Year.
The misuse of CDF resources has been on a steady decline over the last three years, according to the NTA
“Apart from the allocation from CDF, the Minister for Finance allocated Sh17.1 million to every constituency for stalled projects. The concern is if we go to an election without completing those projects they might remain incomplete. Usually when there is a change in the MP they tend to start on other projects,” Napisa said.
In the 2011/12 financial year each constituency was allocated Sh17.1 billion to complete stalled or ongoing projects.
The NTA argues that though the CDF was a noble idea, whose effect has been felt at the grassroots level, it has been marred by myriad problems largely due to weak legislation, institutional and oversight mechanisms coupled with lack of information by citizens.