21 November 2012

Kenya: Eldoret North, Mvita Score Well on CDF Use

Nairobi — An audit report on the use of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in 10 electoral areas reveals that Sh125.8 million out of the total allocated amount of Sh728.4 million has either been wasted on poorly done projects, or is simply unaccounted for.

The report released by the National Taxpayers Association (NTA) revealed that Changamwe Constituency was the worst performer among 10 constituencies sampled across the country, followed by Nambale and Butula in the ninth and eighth positions respectively.

NTA is an independent, non-partisan organisation focused on promoting good governance in Kenya through citizen empowerment, enhancing public service delivery and partnership building.

According to the report, a whopping Sh12.9 million of the Sh31.6 million allocated to Changamwe constituency was used on badly built projects.

Other constitutes with poor record of use of CDF included Butula which wasted Sh36.4 million out of the total allocation of Sh99.6 million. Westlands wasted Sh489,895, Tetu Sh850,000, Kisumu Rural, Sh11.7 million, Kisumu Town West Sh5.5 million, Machakos Town Sh15.2 million and Nambale wasted Sh42.6 million.

Field studies revealed that money was voted on badly built projects, some abandoned, while others did not exist despite the fact that money had been spent.

The report gave Eldoret North and Mvita constituencies a clean bill of health in terms of proper utilisation of the CDF during the 2010/11 fiscal year, according to a new study.

According to the findings of the audit by the NTA, all the funds allocated to Eldoret North constituency (Sh89.9 million) and Mvita constituency (Sh50.3 million) were prudently spent on high quality projects creating value for the taxpayers' money.

The report shows there were no CDF funds, which were badly used on badly built projects, wasted on abandoned projects or unaccounted for in Eldoret North and Mvita constituencies.

NTA Regional Coordinator for Nyanza Patrick Nyongesa said they are set to establish county accountability networks to enhance integrity in the management of devolved public funds.

He revealed that they will soon launch their strategic plan for the period 2013-2017 which will include the networks and added that the networks will be ready by next year to enable them participate in the county budgets.

Speaking in Kisumu when he launched an audit report for Kisumu Town West CDF usage, Nyongesa said that their networks will work closely with structures of the counties for effective monitoring of public resources.

NTA National Coordinator Martin Napisa noted a growing trend where politicians are increasingly channelling resources to areas that overwhelmingly voted for them during elections.

"NTA assessment of CDF in 145 constituencies has not only revealed poor project implementation, it has revealed a worrying trend where elected leaders concentrate resources in areas that overwhelmingly voted for them during elections," he said.

"This is contrary to the principles of Public Finance (Article 201) which requires that the public finance system shall promote an equitable society and that revenue raised nationally shall be shared equitably among national and county governments and that expenditure shall promote the equitable development of the country including by making special provision for marginalised groups and areas," he explained.

NTA National chairman Peter Kubebea called on county governments to learn from the experience and challenges that have stalked management of CDF kitty.

"The coming county governments must look out for partisan interests that influence allocation of resources and ensure projects are evenly distributed across regions," he added.

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