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CDF and Uwezo Fund Allocations: What Every Kenyan Must Know

Posted by on 6th February 2015

Categories: CDF Uwezo fund

It is no doubt that since the establishment of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), tangible projects have been undertaken in most constituencies across the country. CDF has helped construct classrooms, bridges, roads, hospitals and paid school fees for many among other noble tasks.

However over the period, allegations impropriety have abounded. First, low public consultation in projects prioritization is often mentions. Secondly, social audits have revealed the amount allocated to the projects are often excess. Thirdly the public has raised concerns that leaders do not prioritize integrity and qualifications in the selection of CDF committee members but reward their cronies.

Before the next CDF allocations are decided upon, Kenyans need to know that:

i) The CDF Committee exists to serve constituents interests so the public should influence its membership selection and be proactive to have a say on project prioritization;

ii) Each CDF office presents their budget with projects to the CDF Board for consideration. Projects are considered based on amounts requested. At this stage the CDF Board assumes that the projects are what the public want. In some instances, some projects are rejected as unfeasible;

iii) Once the projects are approved by the board, the details are then published in the CDF Board website. If you check it, you will find all the allocations and projects proposed; and

iv) The public can use the projects approved by the CDF Board to check fidelity at implementation.

On the other hand, Uwezo Fund exists to enable women, youth and persons with disability access finances to promote businesses and enterprises at the constituency level. MPs are patrons of the fund and the public has a say on the funds distribution.

Constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committees oversee implementation of the Fund in each Constituency. The committee has representatives of Women, Youth and persons with disability.

Applying for this fund requires strict adherence to the following procedures.

i) The first thing is to sign up for a Capacity Building Programme and ensure you get a certificate. This provides access to training but also preferential tenders under the 30 percent Public Procurement tender opportunities for Youth, Women and persons with disability. Many youth groups forget this first crucial step and fail to get the funds.

ii) The fund has a cap of Ksh. 500000 to a youth group at one time. Groups that access the Fund have a grace period of six (6) months and thereafter pay the loan in eight installments. And;

iii) The amount loaned does not attract interest but a 3 percent administration fee is charged.iv) Funds for Youth and Women living with Disabilities are given special consideration. More details on Uwezo Fund.

Women Representatives will soon be controlling Sh2.03 billion for social empowerment in their counties, about sh7 million per constituency. Kenyans must look out for the regulations guiding it in order to capitalize on it.

Only vigilance will ensure these funds are prioritized properly and utilized diligently.

Where is the money for public education going?

Posted by on 24th February 2011

Categories: Budget CDF

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)

The topic of education has been receiving a lot of play in media recently.  Whether or not to reform the 8.4.4 system?  The introduction quota system for entry into national secondary schools, whether or not to scrap the parallel course at public universities, are all part of the debate.  Today’s Standard newspaper has an interesting story on Jua Kali National Schools.  The story is about the Ministry of Education’s plan to upgrade about 100 provincial secondary schools to national schools to ensure that more students graduating for primary school have access to a national school education. As the article rightly points out, a change in the status of a school from provincial to national adds little value if nothing is done to improve the schools infrastructure and/or the quality of the education given in the schools, and is unlikely to equip the children going to these newly ‘nationalised’ schools with the knowledge and skills to advance themselves.

The low quality of public education is surprising given the amount of money that goes into the system. The National Taxpayers Association revealed just how much taxpayers money goes into the education sector, about Kshs 6.6 billion annually. Frankly for that amount I would think the public education system would be in better shape both quality and infrastructure-wise particularly in the rural areas. Did you know every year, Kshs. 30 million is set aside for each constituency to construct a centre of excellence? And that each constituency is expected to equip two primary schools with water harvesting facilities costing Sh. 1.47 million? And that in addition to CDF, the government allocates millions of shillings to every constituency for education through the Economic Stimulus Project. I live in Nairobi, but when I look at the school in my “shagz”, Karachounyo Constituency, I’m hard pressed to believe that the constituency receives even Kshs. 1 million let alone Kshs. 30 million every year for education. Further neither the primary nor the secondary school could be termed centres of excellence.

So my question is where is the money going?

Turkana North CDF – kshs 50 million embezzled

Posted by on 6th January 2011

Categories: CDF Constituency News

Turkana North received the largest share of CDF funds in the 2010 FY to the tune of Kshs 107 million, a reflection of the fact that it is one of the the poorest constituencies in the country with approximately 281,542 poor people out of a constituency population of 313,748 according to government statistics.

So it is shocking to read in the local papers that despite the pressing needs and the resources allocated to the constituency via the constituency development funds, that kshs 50 million of allocated development funds for Turkana North constituency have allegedly been embezzled.

The CDF chairman and the current MP John Munyes are said to be behind the mismanagement of the funds. Allegations of mismanagement of the Turkana North CDF funds and abuse of office, particularly by the Chair of the John Lokumachom (Lowa), have appeared on Mzalendo as early as 2008, it is good that an audit has finally been done by local organizations (though one wonders what the government CDF audit office is doing?) – hopefully the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission will take the investigations further.

CDF Allocation and White Elephants – Who’s Monitoring?

Posted by on 5th January 2011

Categories: CDF Citizen Engagement Members of Parliament Uncategorized

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa

Every year 2.5% of all the government’s ordinary revenue is allocated to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Three quarters of the 2.5% is allocated equally between the 210 constituencies. The remaining quarter is allocated on the basis of a combination of the national and individual constituency poverty indexes. While 2.5% may not seem like a lot, in the 2009/2010 fiscal year 2.5% amounted to approximately Kshs 14.5 billion allocated to ensure that the fight against poverty is carried out at the constituency level by implementation of development projects that have wide spread benefits to residents of different constituencies.

The developmental results, howeverm do not match the figures. A social audit report done by TISA tells the story of a surprising number of stalled CDF projects and wastage millions of shillings. In Emabakasi, Westlands and Langata constituencies approximately 46 million
kshs has been injected into projects, which have now stalled. In addition, a significant amount of monies cannot be accounted for – for example, 6.8 million Kshs isunaccounted for from Kasarani’s CDF.

White elephants and missing funds are not the only issue plaguing the management of
CDF – nepotism is also a problem. Just last week Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya accused Western MPs of employing their wives and relatives to manage the funds. Such accusations are not confined to Western Province.

So what is the cost of the misuse and management of CDF? The Social Audit Report
finds that almost 50% of all CDF are redirected to purposes for which they were not
intended. So of Kshs 14.5 billion that’s Kshs. 7.25 billion misappropriated in 2009/2010
alone.

Who’s accountable? At the constituency level a CDF committee manages the funds. The
committee is made up of the area MP, the District Officer, 2 Councillors, 2 Religious
Leaders, an NGO rep, a youth rep, 2 men and women from the constituency and 3
committee members. The buck stops primarily with them.

Though the new constitution provides that county governments will eventually take up
the role of management of devolved funds such as CDF. In the 2010/2011 and 2011/
2012 fiscal years the constituency development fund disbursements will be made. Who’s
monitoring the management & expenditure of the funds?

Mzalendo Vox Pop: “Remember We Pay You!”

Posted by on 20th October 2010

Categories: CDF Members of Parliament MP Participation Vox Pop

This interview was done with a young constituent from Kasarani, he’s 22 years old and has never voted, but is clear about what he expects from his MP.

You can find out more about Kasarani constituency at this pretty decent website that’s been set up by the current MP.

Mzalendo Q&A with MP Dr. Wilbur Ottichilo of Emuhaya

Posted by on 7th October 2010

Categories: CDF Constituency News Members of Parliament MP Participation MP Profile

MP Wilbur Ottichilo of Emuhaya constituency recently agreed to respond to questions posed by Mzalendo about his activities and his constituency. We welcome his willingness to engage and if you are a MP who is interested in doing the same, please email us – info-at-mzalendo-dot-com

What made you leave your role as Director General for Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), an agency of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and run for Parliament?

I wanted to offer new people centered leadership in my constituency that would focus on socio-economic development through participatory process that aims to empower the communities to formulate and implement their own development agenda. In brief, my goal was to empower people to take their own development destiny in their own hands.

In my career which spans over 30 years, I had held various senior managerial and leadership positions which exposed me to various leadership and development challenges and in the process I gained a lot of experience in modern and democratic approaches to leadership and management. I therefore aspired to use this vast experience to spearhead development agenda in my constituency which has remained poor since independence due to poor leadership which focused on politics of divide, impoverish and rule. My wish was to reverse this trend.

Being a Natural Resource and Environmental Scientist, I had throughout my career written numerous documents and reports where I made numerous policy recommendations for implementation by my government but none of them was implemented because there were no members of parliament who were interested in enacting policies and laws related to natural resource management and environment. I therefore decided that I go to parliament myself to articulate these issues- particularly those that concern science, technology and innovation. In my two years stint in parliament, I have played a key role in pushing for the enactment of National Land Use Policy and Biosafety Law. I have also fielded numerous questions concerning the conservation of our resources- particularly forests, lakes and wildlife. I was also involved in the preparation of Africa’s Position on Climate Change which was presented during the World Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009. Currently I am working in collaboration with various civic societies to prepare a Climate Change Bill which I intend to table in parliament before the end of the year. I am also working on motions on space and Geo-Information Policies.

What Parliamentary Committee(s) have you served on since you became a Member of Parliament? How would you describe your experience on Committees so far?

I serve on two committees: Education, Science and Technology and Transport, Housing and Public Works. My experience on these committees is that they are very important in addressing national issues which cannot be dealt with exhaustively on the floor of the house. It is actually in these committees that the key oversight business of the parliament is transacted. My concern is that these committees lack experienced and seasoned technical support from parliament. Majority of the staff are less experienced and are also involved in numerous parliamentary duties. Also these committees spent more time investigating various issues that arise in their respective sectors. Less effort is devoted to policy issues! Lastly it is sad that the selection of members to different committees is not necessarily based on their expertise and experience in the respectively sectors and as such significant number of members do not take these committees very seriously!

Apart from these Committees, I am also a member of Pan-African Parliamentarian Association on Renewable Energy and Climate Change. The association focuses on issues of renewable energy and climate change in Africa. I also participate in numerous Ad-hoc meetings and committees that address specific parliamentary issues- particularly on education, science and technology and climate change.

Tell us a bit about your constituency. Emuhaya is the second largest single constituency in Western Kenya. Insecurity, poor infrastructure, and youth unemployment are major challenges for your constituents. How have you addressed these challenges as an MP?

Details concerning my constituency- Emuhaya are given on our website: www.emuhaya.co.ke. In brief my constituency which is also a district is in Vihiga County in Western part of Kenya. The constituency has an area of about 174 km2 and has a population of over 230,000, with an average density of about 1500 people (highest rural density in the country and world) per square kilometer. The average land parcel per household (average of six people) is 0.25ha.The main form of livelihood is through subsistence farming of maize and beans. The poverty level is quite high- about 65% and majority of the population are the youth- 76%.

The challenges my constituency faces are poor infrastructure, declining education standards, poor health care, unemployment and ever increasing population. To address these challenges, I initially embarked on the preparation of the first ever Strategic Plan (2008-2018) to be prepared in the constituency in a participatory manner. The Plan preparation process involved most of the key elected leaders, opinion leaders, public administration, sectoral technical officers and the religious leaders. The Plan was completed and officially launched at Bunyore Girls’ High School on 27th December 2008. For details regarding the Plan, see our website. Since the launching of the plan, I have devoted my time and energies to its implementation. For the achievements achieved in each sector to date, please check at the website. Overall I am very happy with the implementation of the plan and we expect to implement more than 70% of the plan by the end of my term- in 2012.

My strategy for bringing accelerated socio-economic development in my constituency has been to work directly with people. First I have had to change their mindset through capacity building that development is the responsibility of the government and that the M.P. is the mother and father of the constituency and is responsible for every development initiative. I had to encourage them to be responsible for their own development by empowering them to participate in the formulation and implementation of their own development activities. Our development motto is: We leave idle talking and take action to better our lives- “Khurule Mumang’ana khutsie mbikhole.”

You have engaged in various activities using ICT to foster development. Can you describe the constituency mapping initiative you undertook in your constituency? How successful was it? What challenges did you face in implementing it? Is there a link where the public can access the results of the initiative?

ICT is the engine of development in the 21st Century and information if important and crucial for rational planning and management of resources. Therefore one of my goals on election as M.P. was to create essential database on my constituency to form the base or foundation of development planning. I also set out to promote ICT awareness and training for our youth in our schools and for the ordinary people. I have been able to partly achieve this through my own personal initiative. Through my own-funding I have been able to establish two ICT training clinics for our youth in the constituency. We have also introduced computer training in a number of our secondary schools. I have been able to achieve this through a community based CBO known as Bunyore Community Development Organization (BUCODEO). For details please check on our website.

Being a geo-information and satellite technology specialist, I have also established a GIS database for the constituency based on most recent satellite imagery. We use this database for planning. Since the GIS technology is computer-based and most of my people cannot access to the same or have no training in the same, I have prepared simple and essential maps that are commonly referred to and availed then at the website for general use. I am also in the process of preparing an atlas with essential maps and statistics that will be available soon in hard copies.

Can you describe ways in which you directly engage with your citizens when not in Parliament e.g. visits to your constituency etc.?

The key complain and concern of my constituents when I was campaigning was that the previous M.Ps rarely visited the constituency once elected and when they did, it was a technical appearance where a few lucky people were given some money in form of a bribe to continue popularizing the M.P. and dealing ruthlessly with anybody who dared criticize the M.P. I therefore resolved that if elected I will spend all my time away from parliament in my constituency. This is what I am doing to date. Virtually all weekends and holidays I am in the constituency. While in the constituency I visit development projects, I visit schools and talk to students, I attend major social functions including funerals, I hold meetings with various key stakeholders and spare time for people to meet me in my local office to greet me and discuss with me on various personal or community issues.

If Emuhaya constituents have complaints or reports about the use of CDF funds, where’s the best place to direct them?

CDF funds are very crucial for the development of our constituency. These are funds that are availed to us by government to initiate and implement community based projects and activities. To effectively and efficiently make use of these funds the communities have been empowered through capacity building to formulate and implement their own projects while the CDFC monitors and evaluates their implementation. We operate in a transparent manner and we announce in a local newsletter produced by my office on how the money received has been allocated to different projects and give implementation status of each project. If there is any misappropriation of funds, it occurs at the project implementation level and in this case the community leaders responsible for the project are held responsible. When we initially started giving money to the communities to implement their own projects we had several reports and observation of poor use of the resources given. But through our intensified project monitoring and evaluation, the cases of poor resource utilization have drastically reduced. Also any misappropriation of any CDF funds by any project is usually reported to us by the local community and we immediately take the necessary measures. Thus over time we are now witnessing increasing accountability on how CDF funds are utilized.

For details on how we have utilized our CDF funds in the last two years I have been in parliament please check on our website. Overall personally I am happy and satisfied that we have used our funds very prudently and the socio-economic impact is evident of the ground. We had made main roads in the constituency all weather and motorable. We have drastically improved our health care system. We have renovated numerous school buildings and constructed classrooms and we have embarked on a very ambitious program to improve academic performance of our schools. Lastly our security has greatly been enhanced through establishment of security posts- manned by Administrative Police in all main market areas.

After your election you set up a website for Emuhaya. How important do you think it is for a constituency to have a web presence? When it was active, did the website help you engage with your constituents and other stakeholders?

The goal of having a website for our constituency is to let the people from my constituency-particularly in the Diaspora to be inform on continuous basis on what development initiatives we are undertaking in our constituency and to afford them a direct opportunity to provide their views and recommendations on what strategies we should adopt to fast-track development in Emuhaya in all sectors. We are also using the website to solicit for financial support for the implementation of various project proposals we have prepared and avail fundamental information on Emuhaya for use by interested parties including researchers.

To date the website has been visited by numerous people in and outside Kenya. We have received a lot of compliments and recommendations on the same. Through the website we have been able to get in touch with various professionals from Emuhaya who are in U.S.A. and Europe among other places. In conclusion we are proud about our website and the role is playing in highlighting our development activities in Emuhaya.

What has been the most challenging aspect of being a MP to date? The most rewarding?

Since I become the M.P. I have and continue to face numerous challenges. Among the challenges I initially faced were:

* The culture of giving of money and cooking food for all manner of people
* The expectation that you can solve personal problems of all your constituents
* High financial and job rewards expectations from my supporters
* Pressure from my supporters to alienate and ignore all those who did not support me or opposed me in election campaign
* The fact that people would be unhappy with me if I told them the true on any issue or on their requests or recommendations. Somehow people want to be given hope through flattery and promising them what you know will not happen!
* Unfair and negative criticism and hatred.
* Lack of transparency and accountability among some of my supporters
* The culture of sycophancy where people praise you unnecessarily and don’t tell you the truth!

Over time I have learnt through experience on how to handle the above challenges but one thing I have vowed not to compromise on is to tell lies (dishonest) or be sucked into corruption tendencies or deals. I have remained steadfast, honest and down to earth and committed. Lastly the most rewarding achievement to date is that the people of Emuhaya are fast discarding their culture of begging and expecting handouts and are now striving to make a living through their own struggle. People from all backgrounds now appreciate my efforts to socio-economically transform the community and are proud of me. This is what is giving more energy and determination to work even harder for my people of Emuhaya.

CDF funds abused in Kathiani and Machakos

Posted by on 18th December 2008

Categories: CDF

The National Taxpayers Association has conducted it’s first audit of constituency funds in Machakos and Kathiani constituencies and has found that close to Kshs 19 million was lost to “ghost projects” under the watch of the previous MPs David Mwanzia and Peter Kaindi, both of whom did not make it back to the Tenth Parliament.

Lets hope the National Taxpayers Association can be similarly transparent about their own work and update their website / publish the full reports online.

CDF Spotlight: Langata Constituency

Posted by on 24th October 2008

Categories: CDF Uncategorized

The CDF Project has been doing some great work around following up on the implementation of CDF projects and sharing the information they collect with a wider audience. So far they have worked only in Nairobi, with plans to expand elsewhere in the country. It’s a difficult job that they are doing – government and CDF officials have been generally unresponsive – but they have still been able to collect some good information. With their permission, we will be sharing the work they have done with you on Mzalendo. We hope that they are able to sustain their work so that by 2012 we can have an issue based record on which to assess the performance of MPs. As usual we encourage you to share your comments and feedback on how your MP is performing in the comments section.

CDF Report Langata: MP Raila Odinga

Amounts allocated:
– 2003/04 Kshs 6,000,000
– 2004/05 Kshs 22,218,788
– 2005/06 Kshs 28,735,319
– 2006/07 Kshs 39,807,498
– 2007/08 Kshs 40,053,371

Overview of project implementation
: The Langata CDFC did not do a good job engaging the public in project planning and implementation. As a result, we could find very little local knowledge of project, or any project documentation. The quality of work in some projects like the Kongoni Primary School, Madaraka Primary School and the link road between South C and Mombasa road was poor.

Assistance received from local CDF committee: The journey to Langata began in early June 2008, when the contact person, Mr. Opieta arranged a meeting to be briefed on the CDF Social Audit Handbook. After the discussion, he referred us to Mr. Kehta, the CDF committee secretary. Mr. Kehta requested that we submit a letter stating our objectives. We did so in early July, and soon received a response referring us to the project coordinator at the Langata CDF offices, located at the Langata DO’s office. However, after several attempts to schedule a meeting, we received no response, and so began our project visits unassisted.

Project Reports: Click here for details on the following projects –
o Madaraka Primary School
o Link-road between South C and Mombasa Road
o Kongoni Primary School – Re-carpeting of Classrooms
o Kongoni Primary School – The Repair of a Parking Bay
o Langata High School
o Security Light Mast at Laini Saba
o Upgrading of the Laini Saba Sports Ground

More resources about the Langata CDF:

– Historical information, click here.

CDF Misuse

Posted by on 22nd October 2008

Categories: CDF

The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has been in the news for the last couple of days.

First, there are reports of politicians meddling with the process of appointing the new head of the Fund.

Second, there is controversy about the poverty index that determines how much is distributed to each constituency.

Finally, there is the recent auditor general report revealing rampant abuse of CDF funds, with Saboti constituency topping the list of offenders (under the previous Parliament). You can read more about the mysterious death of the former Saboti CDF manager here.

This is one area where we would like to encourage Mzalendo users to keep their eyes on and report on what is going on in their constituency as far as CDF use / misuse. It is not always easy to get the information, but nothing beats hearing stories from the ground – how is your MP using CDF funds in your constituency?