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MPs vow to slash Judiciary budget following ruling on CDF

27 February 2015, 08:09 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – MPs have vowed to slash the Judiciary's budgetary allocation in response to last week’s High Court ruling that declared the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) unconstitutional.

They proposed that part of Judiciary’s allocations be given to the Lands, Housing and Public Works ministry.

“We want the spirit of separation of powers, as was mentioned as the reason to deny MPs control of CDF, to be upheld by all arms of government. Not just by Parliament,” said an MP who declined to be named after attending a Kamukunji at Parliament chaired by National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi seeking a way forward following the ruling.

“We therefore think that it should not be the business of Judiciary to undertake construction works. That is an execution aspect that should be undertaken by the executive arm of government,” he added.

After the Kamukunji (informal assembly), confidential sources revealed that the MPs led by High Court by lawyer, Gatonye Waweru, identified a constitutional amendment to help salvage CDF.  Waweru once represented the CDF board at the High Court suit.

They agreed to set up a taskforce composed of fellow legislators with strong legal minds in the House to analyze identified areas of the Constitution that need to be amended for the lawful administration of CDF.   

Despite amending the Constitution to make CDF lawful, the legislators also agreed to back the CDF Board in its move to appeal against the court’s ruling although some expressed minimal success in pursuing the judicial route.

Also read: Angry MPs vow to appeal CDF ban

“Those of us with legal minds in the House and even the more reasonable members can easily see that we do not have a chance in the appeal. The decision to support the board’s appeal is meant to largely buy time as we pursue the realistic path of Constitution change,” said another MP who attended the Kamukunji.

The National Assembly leadership consisting of the Speaker and his office, both the Majority and Minority Party Leaders, and chairmen of the House committees will formulate membership of the proposed taskforce to be presented to MPs in another Kamukunji to be held next week Tuesday.

“It is this taskforce that will guide the process and identify which areas of the Constitution we will target for change,” said another legislator.

The sources further revealed that the identified amendments may not require them to go the referendum route, arguing that the changes could be done in the House.

It also emerged that legislators were contemplating in identifying other renowned lawyers to back Waweru in the anticipated CDF Board’s appeal at the Court of Appeal.

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