, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 27 – The Institute for Social Accountability (TISA) has petitioned the High court to declare the Affirmative Action Social Development Fund (AASDF) Act 2015 unconstitutional.
TISA wants the court to bar the Treasury CS from releasing monies to any institution created under the Fund and set to benefit from it pending hearing and determination of the application for judicial review.
In the petition submitted by the institutes’ lawyer Lempaa Suyianka, TISA argues that the fund was targeted at complementing the Constituency Development Fund which was declared unconstitutional by the same court in February this year.
“The new regulation establishes institutions similar to the ones declared unconstitutional on February 20 2015 under the CDF Act. There are ulterior motives behind the new regulations,” said Suyianka.
He said the regulations were unconstitutional as they went against the principles of public finance, division and separation of powers adding that, “In order to safeguard public funds the court should consider that there is an illegal frame work in the new regulations.”
The lawyer told High Court Judge George Odunga that the funds which were allocated to the women Members of Parliament to enable them initiate projects in the areas they represented were meant to cover up for CDF.
” The object and purpose of the regulations is to complement the CDF Act by allowing the 47 women members of parliament to control funds designated for executive functions and which in character are to be administered in the manner that the CDF is administered” he asserted.
The lawyer is also seeking orders against the Affirmative Action Social Development Fund board and committee and wants the two barred from transacting any business until the matter is determined by the court.
“Anybody established by the new regulations is illegal as it is created without the authority of the law and in violation of the constitution,” he posed.
Suyianka further stated that if the application was not heard urgently, the 47 county women representatives would use up public money on unconstitutional principles contrary to the law since the pre-requisite structures have not been put in place.
In the 2014/15 financial year, the National Assembly allocated Sh2.03billion within the CDF kitty to women MPs to help them address gender issues including eradicating female genital mutilation so at to ensure they participate in meaningful development.
Following the allocations, the biggest winners are those with the highest number of constituencies like Nairobi Woman Representative Rachel Shebesh who will control Sh119 million from the 17 constituencies, Kakamega’s Rachel Ameso and Ann Nyokabi (Kiambu) with Sh84 million each while Lamu’s Shakila Abdalla and Tiya Galgalo (Isiolo) with only two counties will only get to control the least amount, that is Sh14 million each.