, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – The government has said it will release delayed civic education funds to the Committee of Experts by the end of the week.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga said on Wednesday that the delay was occasioned by bureaucracy but assured that the government was committed to funding the exercise.
“As we know we are going to the end of the financial year and so cash was a little scarce but Treasury is going to release some money this week,” said the Prime Minister.
The Committee of Experts (CoE) launched the Sh330 million programme last Tuesday but has not been able to make headway owing to the cash crunch. It now has less than 20 days remaining for the civic education.
But as the PM was giving the assurance, Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula lashed out at the Treasury for delaying the release of the funds. He told reporters that the CoE may be forced to extend civic education on the proposed Constitution beyond the 30 days stipulated by law owing to delayed disbursement of the funds.
“I don’t want this money for myself,” he retorted. “I have asked Uhuru Kenyatta (Finance Minister) whether he wants me to beg for it.”
He said he had written to the Finance Ministry demanding the immediate release of the allocated Sh330 million to cater for the month-long exercise.
Mr Kilonzo said the programme has now been brought to a halt for lack of funds and the government is less likely to meet the deadline.
Mr Odinga and Mr Kilonzo were speaking after attending a consultative meeting with donors. The international donor community asked the government to provide adequate resources to the CoE.
British High Commissioner Rob Macaire said the government should ensure the CoE was well facilitated to realise completion of the Constitution review process.
“We encourage the government to make sure that all the resources for civic education are provided, of course the donor community has provided a lot of resource,” he said.
A referendum is scheduled for August 4.