Nominated senators seek share of Sh300m monitoring fund

Monday February 15 2016

A file picture showing Senate in session. FILE

A file picture showing Senate in session. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Nominated senators have warned their elected colleagues against locking them out of the Sh300 million fund set to be allocated by the National Treasury for monitoring governors.

The lawmakers said they have constituencies to serve though they do not represent any particular counties in the House and should therefore benefit from the money.

The Treasury has agreed to allocate the lawmakers Sh332 million to monitor and evaluate how governors are implementing devolution over the remainder of this financial year.

They have been promised Sh1 billion in the next budget year.

The allocation will be made through a supplementary budget expected to be tabled in Parliament in a fortnight.

“We created our own cracks last time by sidelining 20 of us. We should not make it look like we are just dividing the money amongst us. You cannot do it without us. We must always feature prominently in this discussion. We have to be involved,” said nominated Senator Martha Wangari.

The Senate has 20 nominated members, 16 of whom are women picked by parties based on their numerical strength in the House. The remaining four represent the youth and the disabled.

“We are just hearing of the Sh332 million being spoken about it. We would like to know if the nominated members will get a share. We expect to be involved,” said Senator Judith Sijeny, also nominated.

Senators were allocated Sh1 billion for the same function before the reading of the budget last June but the nominated ones accused their colleagues of locking them out of the allocation. The lawmakers ended up losing the money after MPs dropped it from the budget.

Kitui Senator David Musila, a member of the Parliamentary Service Commission, told members at a retreat for the House leadership in Mombasa at the weekend that the National Treasury had agreed to give them the money after lengthy negotiations.

He said they wanted Sh1 billion but Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich refused, agreeing to provide only a third of the amount.