, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 3 – The government has finally released Sh553 million to the Committee of Experts on Constitution Review (CoE) to finance all the activities remaining in the review process.
The funds were released on Thursday, after a meeting convened by Prime Minister Raila Odinga at his Treasury office.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, his Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua, Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo and officials of the CoE.
“The government has today committed to make available Sh553m to finance the activities of the CoE between now and the end of the process,” Mr Odinga said and clarified that the review process and all activities had not been factored in the 2009/10 financial budget.
“We have however discussed all these matters and agreed to have the money released, but all these will be factored in during the budget reading next week,” he added.
Funding of the CoE for civic education has been a thorny issue for the past weeks, with the Finance Minister insisting that no more funds would be released.
“There was just a misunderstanding, but they (CoE) had been given authority to incur expenses, so that is not a big deal at all,” said Mr Odinga.
“Maybe because the Prime Minister was not available to bring them together to talk together; today they have talked to each other.”
The Thursday meeting was convened just a day after the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister told Capital News that he had petitioned the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on finance to resolve the civic education funding row.
In an interview, Mr Kilonzo said that 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 had said.
He said his efforts to convince Treasury PS Joseph Kinyua and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to release the funds had been unsuccessful.