NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – Senate Majority Whip Beatrice Elachi has accused the National Assembly of playing politics and giving the debate over the Division of Revenue Bill an emotional approach without considering the consequence of their actions.
The Nominated Senator said the move by the National Assembly to deduct monies from the Senate, Judiciary and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission budgets was selfish and unjustified.
“I thank the members, who supported the idea because we ended the stalemate, but people should be worried over how emotional it became… it went so low,” said Elachi.
She said instead of debating the Bill along the battle of supremacy, the Lower House should have talked about how the money would change the lives of Kenyans and how to ensure governors will be accountable to the monies.
“The members became so emotional it was like a do or die,” she added.
Elachi who was a member of the mediation committee said the Lower House had proved that MPs did not need monies to perform their roles adding that CDF money should be taken away from members of the National Assembly because it had lost its meaning.
“It’s time we ask ourselves as Kenyans whether we need classrooms anymore, we need teachers, I have been to Turkana and children still study under trees, what is CDF doing? Who said you need CDF to prove you are working?”
She urged Kenyans to critically analyse the role of CDF saying some were being embezzled by the MPs while others were being used as handouts to the public.
“We want to see CDF operate differently, it should be complementing the county governments not competing,” Elachi said.
She insisted the Senate had not lost in the fight for their rights saying the Sh1 billion allocated to them for oversight was a proposal and was yet to be implemented.
“The Senate was trying to test the waters to see whether they mean what they say; they wanted Senators to help them over CDF. It is not something we were expecting, we have shown that without money you can do a lot, we are always in our counties, and the people know us,” Elachi added.
She was disappointed that the budget committee struck off Sh800 million from the Judiciary yet it was combating the backlog of cases which have affected service delivery and they were in the process of establishing additional courts to ensure faster dispensation of Justice.
Elachi dispelled the notion that the role of the Senate was not defined saying the impact of the Division of Revenue Bill was a testament to that fact.
“If we declare the Senate irrelevant we will need a referendum. If we break it, how will the County Governments be affected?” she posed.
The nominated Senator urged MPs to work against the tag that they are ‘anti-devolution’ saying the Senate had accepted the decision of the House and was ready to work.
She urged the members of the Lower House to walk the talk and deliver to Kenyans adding that the 2017 General Election was not too far away and then, they would need to prove to Kenyans that they should be e-elected.
On Wednesday, the National Assembly slashed recurrent allocations amounting to Sh1 billion from the Senate Affairs Programme, Sh800 million from the Judiciary and Sh200 million from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
National Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Mutava Musyimi and House Majority Leader Aden Duale had cautioned that the MPs will have to make cuts to the Senate, National Executive, and the Judiciary budgets in order to raise an extra Sh3.3 billion the Senate had proposed for Level 5 Hospitals (Sh1.5billion) and additional salaries for the County Governments (Sh1.7billion).