8 MPs Selected to Lead Constitution Change in CDF Saga

A collage of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) and President William Ruto (right)
A collage photo of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at a rally on July 24, 2022 (left) and President William Ruto during his inauguration n September 13, 2022(right)
Raila Odinga

President William Ruto and Raila Odinga's allies united in a bid to amend the Constitution to entrench the constituency development fund (CDF).

This followed the approval of eight MPs to sit on a joint committee to spearhead the constitutional amendment process

The agreement reached by Kenya Kwanza and their Azimio la Umoja counterparts on Thursday, November 24, proposed the amendment to be undertaken through a parliamentary initiative as provided in Article 256 of the Constitution.

MPs argued that the parliamentary initiative approach will not force the country to go into a referendum. 

Nominated Member of Parliament John Mbadi
Nominated Member of Parliament John Mbadi

Members proposed to lead the constitutional amendment clamour included Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga, nominated MP John Mbadi, Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo and his Kibwezi East counterpart Eckomas Mutuse.

Others included Edward Muriu (Gatanga), Catherine Wambilianga (Bungoma Woman Rep), David Mboni (Kitui Rural) and Kakai Bisau (Kiminini). 

The senators were also expected to pick nine representatives to join the committee.

"Noting the general debate in the House on the legislative proposal to amend the constitution to entrench the three specialised funds, cognisant of the comments and views of the MPs during the general debate on the legislative proposal, this House resolves to establish a joint parliamentary committee," the motion read in part.

Besides CDF, legislators want the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), Senate Oversight Fund (SOF) and Economic Stimulus and Empowerment Fund anchored in the Constitution.

The lawmakers argued that the funds are critical to enabling them to carry out their mandate, including supporting vulnerable community members.

After presenting their recommendations, the speakers of both houses, Moses Wetangula and Amason Kingi, will give directions.

MPs have been fighting to bring back CDF funds after the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional

A bench of five judges led by Chief Justice Martha Koome ruled that the CDF Act violated the principle of separation of powers, hence was unconstitutional.

"A fund directed at service delivery mandate can only be constitutionally complaint if structured in a manner that does not entangle members of Legislative bodies and Legislative bodies in the discharge of the service delivery mandate however symbolic," the judges, including Justice Koome, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung’u and William Ouko ruled.

Chief Justice Martha Koome during her assumption of office ceremony on May 24, 2021
Chief Justice Martha Koome during her assumption of office ceremony on May 24, 2021
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