Our MPs and the UDA government in particular need to wake up to the reality that crying about the CDF every day or issuing threats will not change a damn thing about the Supreme Court on the CDF ruling made on August 8, 2022.
The court made a very simple and straightforward ruling. CDF money is fine. It just cannot be administered by MPs because it is a national government money for constituencies and the MPs cannot run the fund like the situation is now. Case closed.
If the MPs were smart even by just a whisker, they would be putting in place a new law to channel the money directly to constituencies where they won’t be involved in running that fund. But as MPs, they could play a big role in monitoring how the money is used to make sure that it is not being stolen with fictitious contracts and hundreds of thousands of bursaries issued by the MPs, many of them, to none existent students so the money is then grabbed by the same MPs.
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwah is now saying he is scared to go to his constituency because there are more than 100 people there waiting for their bursaries from CDF. That is leadership by cowardice and deception. If Ichungwah and other MPs were worth anything they should be at the constituency offices and all over talking to their constituents to explain that the CDF as before has been declared illegal.
They should be talking to their voters about what changes need to be made to have CDF work legally and more effectively for the constituents. The MPs should also be telling Kenyans what they have achieved with the CDF. Can Ichungwah for example tell Kenyans what he has done with the CDF for the last five years as the Kikuyu MP?
No MP will ever try to do that. They just like to list names of schools where they bought one chair or two for the students and a few police stations where the CDF has been used to paint the door.
Can we ask the MPs to provide a list of all the students they have provided bursaries in the last five years? They will not do that because most of the alleged bursaries end up in the MPs’ pockets. They must be sponsoring their wallets to college.
Whatever the MPs try to do they should be sure about one thing. Any changes in the laws of Kenya to transform how CDF is allocated and managed will require public participation in a big way. Let the Kenyan public tell the country what they want the CDF to be used for and one thing for sure. In all those public participation, the public will ask the MPs directly what they have done with the money.
Also the biggest issue right now is to find out exactly what CDF bank balances were on August 8, 2022 when the Supreme Court stopped the MPs from touching the CDF. Are there any moneys in those accounts?
How much? Has any MP or their agents tried to access CDF money, bank accounts, or any assets since the Supreme Court barred them from touching it? Civil society groups should initiate that process. There should be completely no transactions whatsoever in the CDF accounts since August 8, 2022. Anything else is fraud.
My idea is that the civil society groups that fought for and won the CDF legal changes be at the forefront of public participation in CDF. In fact, I will be urging those groups whose leaders we know very well to start the process as soon as MPs come with any attempts to change the CDF laws and regulations.
MPs were dying for public participation in BBI proposed changes to the constitution, well now you have one right at your doorsteps. Don’t be scared. Those are your voters who want to talk to you about how money allocated to them is being used. What can be more important than this? Public participation starts after the first reading of any amendments proposed in parliament.
The other thing Kenyans have to be careful about is the attempt by the MPs to turn the whole CDF into a bursary fund for students. The MPs are going to use that for two reasons. The first one is to rile Kenyans up that their children are in a mess because of CDF changes.
They know people will respond positively to something that affects children. The second reason MPs are turning this into a bursary issue is that you cannot trace bursary funding. The MPs give us all sorts of numbers without names. Bursary funding is the easiest for the MPs to steal.
A few things have to be made clear in the public hearings on CDF. How much portion of the CDF has each constituency spent on bursaries in the last five years? Are bursaries even 10% of the CDF money spent so far?
How come the MPS are not talking about anything else they have done in their constituencies with the Shs 133 million per year every constituency gets which amounts to Shs 695 million in the last five years people like Ichungwah have been in office?
And talk about dumb and dumber. Senator Mungatana has proposed that the Kenya Treasury should issue money directly to students who are receiving bursaries. So will the students write letters or just send their M-Pesa phone line to the Treasury and money is then sent to them?
Or will they just wire the money to the schools? Some of these politicians need the bursary themselves to help them figure out how things are done in real life.
In the meantime, Education CS Ezekiel Machogu is back manufacturing nonsense. The CS claims that he has spent Shs. 821 million to feed kids in school in the drought-hit areas. None of the MPs or the county staff working in those areas have seen the CS and his group distributing any food in schools unless he is doing it at night when everybody else is asleep and the kids are having their great meals.
The food menu provided by the CS is itself very sumptuous. This is how Machogu claims he has spent the money. Shs. 457 million on rice, 115 million on beans, Shs. 43 million on oil and Shs. 2 million on salt.
The CS also claimed that the money is given to the sub-county education directors working with county commissioners to implement the program. So far the CS cannot get even one of those who allegedly bought and distributed the food to come forward and tell Kenyans where the money is if they ever got it from the CS.
And that Shs 2 million salt for kids is a bit scary. Are these kids just eating salt quietly and that is why nobody has seen this program being implemented?
As we all know lying requires a little intelligence to make things stick. This Machogu guy needs to go back to the UDA Academy of lying and try to do a better job at it. The idea that you distributed Shs. 821 worth of food to non-existent schools in two months is too outrageous. Revise it or come up with something else.
As all these crazy levels of incompetency and a government where lying is now a very essential skill. While all these were going on, Kenyans learnt that the GMO maize imports are already at the Mombasa Port.
This is at the same time when the CS for Trade was just putting the application for the importation in the Kenyan Gazette as required by law.
In other words, this whole process which of course was approved by the cabinet with President Ruto’s nod is just a bunch of lies. The government already imported the GMO maize and it was at the port when they figured they need to cook something up to lie to people.
Maybe with this government, Kenya can now import maize from Mombasa and they don’t need to deal with other countries.
This maize importation scam is rather obvious. The big boys in government who run the maize and other cartels know that Kenyan maize harvesting is on. They need those cheap imports with excise tax exemptions which means they are subsidized by the Kenyan taxpayer and sell the cheap stuff to the millers and you are sitting on billions.
The millers are not going to buy the more expensive maize from Kenyan farmers. They are going to go to the government to get cheap maize. And with mass starvation, this is the best time to become maize billionaires once again.
The exact same people are doing the exact same thing they have done always. They are just too clumsy and stupid to run their thieving show quietly. Good. They are going to meet Kenyans, whom they would rather not meet.
So the GMO maize is here and neither Kuria nor his boss William Ruto can stuff it up where it belongs so now they are going to stuff it down your throats and into your belly. So help you, God.
Adongo Ogony is a Kenyan Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada