Should MPs be allowed to manage the Uwezo fund?

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Politics/Current issues
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National Assembly members during debate

 

Members of Parliament want to create a plot that will see them take charge of the sh.6 billion Uwezo fund launched by the president in September. The Uwezo Fund is a youth and women’s fund which has its genesis in the pledge His Excellency the President made to allocate the Kshs. 6 billion that was meant for the presidential run-off to youth and women groups.

Our MPs have however lined up a number of amendments to the draft Public finance management regulation 2013 which are already before parliament. If these amendments are adopted by parliament, MPs will have to take full charge of the fund just as they did with the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

If the amendments sail through, this also means as managers of this fund, the Mps will have the powers to appoint ward representatives to the membership of the Constituency Uwezo Management committee. The Constituency Development fund is currently being managed by the same MPs and they have always been accused mismanaging the funds and appointing their relatives or close allies to manage the kitty. This has always seen the cash not being used for its intended purpose.

What makes them think that things will be different of they become the patrons of the Uwezo fund kitty?

Announcing the membership of committees that will administer the Fund at the grassroots during its launch, the Ministry of devolution said the Constituency Uwezo Fund Committees will comprise of representatives from each ward representing women, youth, persons with disabilities and government officials, and the CDF Fund account manager.

One of the key principles of this fund is Accountability, to ensure government is held responsible to the citizenry for its decisions and actions. Our Members of parliament cannot be trusted with this if they are allowed to take charge.

 

When it was being launched, the Uwezo fund objectives were the following as to expand access to finance through grants and credit to promote youth and women businesses and enterprises at the constituency level, thereby enhancing economic growth towards the realization of the goals of Vision 2030, to generate gainful self-employment for Kenyan youth and women and to model an alternative framework in funding community driven development.

 

If these objectives are to be achieved, a clear framework needs to be put down and its management clearly set. Mps should not be allowed to control this funds by themselves, they cannot be trusted when it comes to money management.

The debate is scheduled to take place today, Tuesday afternoon

 By @NicKanali 

 

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