MP wants churches listed as beneficiaries of CDF money

Wednesday May 29 2019

MPs during a session.

MPs during a session. Suna West MP Peter Masara has vowed to rally his colleagues in the National Assembly to support the National Government Constituency. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

RUTH MBULA
By RUTH MBULA
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Suna West MP Peter Masara has vowed to rally his colleagues in the National Assembly to support the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) (Amendment) Bill, 2019, so as to have churches allocated money from the fund.

The draft Bill was handed to the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi two weeks ago and is waiting to be published.

Mr Masara said it is important that churches be listed as beneficiaries of the kitty.

If the Bill becomes law, it will allow MPs to allocate at least two percent of the total NG-CDF money in their constituencies towards religious activities.

FUND DRIVES

Most religious groups have been holding fund drives which have in the recent past elicited a lot of negative debate due to involvement of politicians.

Churches, mosques and temples will now have an official source of money from government if the law is enacted.

The Bill seeks to amend section 25, part 3 and 4 of the NG-CDF Act which restrict religious activities to be funded.

“Funds provided under this Act shall not be used for purposes of supporting political bodies or political activities or supporting religious bodies or religious activities,” section 25 (3) states.

Speaking to the Nation on Tuesday, Mr Masara said Kenya’s foundation was built by education and health facilities left by churches through missionaries.

DEVELOPMENT

“We need to include the religious groups in development. The move will help support projects of religious nature and religious bodies,” said Mr Masara.

The legislator insisted that the funding to religious groups will not in any way increase public spending.

Under the current law, NG-CDF the funds may identify a religious body or an organisation as a specialised agency and only support sport activities, which also takes two percent of the total funds.

The Suna West MP said most often, the leaders go to churches to pray and seek divine intervention, but leave out the institutions when it comes to development.

“Dozens of learning and health institutions in the country are managed by churches, we also have orphanages, rescue centres for vulnerable and widow support centres supported by churches. All these institutions will benefit from this change,” Mr Masara said.