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Legislators oppose giving out Uwezo Funds as a grant

09 October 2013, 22:45 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - Legislators in the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade have opposed to the Ministry of Planning and Devolution's framework of giving out the Uwezo funds to youths in form of a grant stating that it would encourage laziness.

The Committee chaired by Hon. Benjamin Lagat,the Ainamoi MP, urged Anne Waiguru, Cabinet Secretary for Planning and Devolution to release funds to youths and women as loans only, and set up competitive and accountable committees from the national to county levels to manage the KES 6 billion youth and women funds.

The Committee stated that they have always been facing managerial challenges in running the CDF funds due to under-performing and incorruptible officers vandalizing money meant for project development. Thus they did not want her to face the same challenge.

The Committee also held that religious organization be excluded as beneficiaries of the Uwezo fund because members of the churches including youths and women are eligible persons who should form Groups and follow the Ministry's legal procedure of getting the funds to finance their projects.

The legislators held that it would be difficult to allocate the funds in the mushroomed churches hence there could be no accountability on how it would be utilized to change lives of the targeted groups.

In addition, the Committee stated that MPs should not be involved the Uwezo Fund management because they are in charge of the CDF hence proposed Women Representatives to be included to overcome any arising conflict of interest.

The Commitee further proposed the funds to be distributed equally across the nation regardless of marginalized groups, state of poverty and environmental problems to ensure that every region gets its share.

Waiguru said that the Ministry is in the process of establishing a competitive task-force to oversee and ensure that the money reaches qualified groups upon application and their documents verified.

She assured the Committee to look into the Uwezo Fund clause which states that the money will be given out on the first come, first served basis. This is after the legislators had argued that the mechanism would be unfavorable to groups that are far away from the established regional offices.

Waiguru called on the Committee to put the Uwezo Fund project into consideration especially in terms of tabling billing to increase its funding for the subsequent years as this would help fight the rising levels of poverty and unemployment among youths and women.    


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