NAIROBI, Kenya, May 2 – The Ministry of Devolution and Planning on Friday announced that the government has released over Sh5 billion of Uwezo Funds to the 290 constituencies countrywide.
A tabulation from the ministry showed that Sh4 billion of that figure was shared out equally among the constituencies, with each receiving Sh13,847,586 while the remainder was distributed on the basis of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics poverty index.
On this basis Mandera South received the highest total allocation of Sh31.8 million while Lamu East received the lowest at Sh14.2 million.
“In line with the Public Finance Management (Uwezo Fund) Regulation 2014, 75 percent of the balance has been allocated equally across all constituencies while 25 percent has been disbursed on the basis of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics poverty index for equalisation purposes,” the communiqué from the ministry explained.
The balance being arrived at after Sh180 million was taken out for administrative costs and Sh465.5 million shillings set aside for capacity building bringing the total figure to Sh6 billion.
“Of the allocated Sh6 billion, Sh180 million – or three percent of the total amount – is retained as administration fee that is retained by the Board for purposes of facilitating both national and constituency level administrative functions. A further Sh465,600,000 – Or eight percent of the total amount – has been earmarked for capacity building of the fund beneficiaries and target groups in accordance to the regulation,” the ministry explained.
The regulations that govern the distribution of the funds, the Public Finance Management (Uwezo Fund) Regulations 2014, were passed by the National Assembly in February after amendments were made making the fund a revolving one in November. READ: MPs make Uwezo Fund permanent.
The passage of the legislation followed numerous calls of expediency by President Uhuru Kenyatta who promised youth and women, during his campaigns, that should they vote for him in large numbers, and avoid a run-off, he would use the Sh6 billion set aside for that purpose on their economic empowerment.
The pledge came even as there already existed a Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) and a Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) set up by former President Mwai Kibaki. READ: Uhuru tells Parliament to speed up Uwezo Fund law
And only last month President Kenyatta changed the chairmanship of YEDF board replacing Gor Semelang’o with Bruce Odhiambo and naming Mumina Bonaya Chair of the WEF Advisory Board.