House rejects proposed list for Budget Committee team

Wednesday February 17 2016

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich (left) with Mutava Musyimi, the chairman of the National Assembly's Budget and Appropriations Committee. Members of county assemblies in Turkana, Vihiga, Meru, Nairobi and Garissa counties are the biggest winners in the Senate’s decision to increase this year’s recurrent expenditure for 34 counties by a whopping Sh2.5 billion. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich (left) with Mutava Musyimi, the chairman of the National Assembly's Budget and Appropriations Committee. London based ratings agency, Fitch, has downgraded Kenya’s ability borrow from the international market. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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MPs last evening voted 133-63 against the proposed membership of the Budget and Appropriations Committee after parties chose to retain majority of its members.

The protest vote was because the previous Budget Committee was discredited last year after MPs discovered its members had contrived to allocate their constituencies Sh3 billion under a special arrangement.

In the heat of the debate, Suba MP and ODM chairman John Mbadi alleged his Kisumu Central counterpart Ken Obura “connived with (Anne) Waiguru and went eating money anyhow in Nyalenda (in Kisumu).” Mr Obura was not given a chance to challenge the assertion.

The Budget Committee plays a crucial role of scrutinising the government’s annual Budget and approves publication of Bills with a financial impact.

It has the power to recommend a cut or rise in budgets for various arms and departments of government.  

LIST REJECTION

The National Assembly’s decision came after Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo disagreed with the rest of the House leadership, triggering the storm that saw the rejection of the list headed by Mbeere South MP Mutava Musyimi.

“If we have to have a 51-member committee, let it be of new members who have not participated in an illegality,” said Mr Midiwo.

He said the Budget Committee had, over the past three years, usurped the powers of the Finance Committee and others, with the ultimate betrayal coming with last year’s Sh3 billion allocation.

“We cannot be talking about Eurobond, we cannot be talking about NYS when there is corruption in the House,” said Mr Midiwo.

The Gem MP raised the same matter last year, leading to the scrapping of the allocation.

The rejection of the list resulted in the Speaker using his reserved powers to direct the departmental committees to scrutinise the Budget Policy Statement tabled earlier and make their recommendations to the Liaison Committee.