MPs have walked out of an induction seminar in Mombasa protesting the delayed release of NG-CDF funds.
The MPs say Treasury CS Prof Njuguna Ndung’u has been playing monkey games with them.
“The CS has been promising us Sh2 billion a week for the last two months. Nothing has come. We cannot sit in this five-star hotel while our children are not in school because they do not have bursary,” said Yatta MP Robert Basil.
Basil said there are at least 10,000 students in his constituency who need bursary and Sh5 million which he has so far received just is not enough.
The government has sent Sh7 million to the NG-CDF accounts.
Sh2 million is for administration while the other Sh5 million is for bursary.
Basil said the money should not be released in piecemeal adding that they will not resume the training without the money
“The children of the rich are in school, while those of the poor are at home. It is better the government told us they have no money and extend the school holidays,” said Basil.
The MPs expect at least Sh50 million for bursary.
Marakwet West MP Timothy Kipchumba and his Mvita counterpart Mohamed Machele said the education of children supercedes that of MPs.
“It is absurd to use hundreds of millions of shillings to host all the over 300 MPs here yet our children cannot go to school,” said Kipchumba.
Machele said his Mvita constituents have been used to being school using bursary and this cannot stop now.
“I cannot afford to be seen to be the one who has failed to take students to school because of lack of bursary,” said Machele, who said he would continue the legacy of his predecessor and now Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir.
Wajir North MP Ibrahim Saney said most of his constituents lost their livestock to drought and therefore cannot afford to take their students to school.
“They are thus depending on this bursary. Today’s session was interrupted deliberately, not for political reasons but for our children,” said Saney.
He said lives and livelihoods have been interrupted.
Karachuonyo MP Adipo Okuome said the NG-CDF is not a political matter.
“We have been very tolerant. The government told they are going to give us Sh2 billion every week starting December 9. You know the date today. We have got nothing until the school opening dates has caught
“Surely, can I be an MP who doesn’t care? Sleeping in a five-star hotel when my children cannot go to school?” said Okuome.
Kipchumba and Basil said the reason there are bursaries in the country is because there are so many parents who cannot afford to pay fees.
Bursary is one of the ways to enforce the bottom-up economic model, Kipchumba said.
“That is why we feel that this government has not honoured its promise of remitting money into the CDF accounts,” said Kipchumba.
Saney said at least 90 per cent of students in his constituents depend on bursary.
Trouble started when Sarah Kioko, Clerk of the National Assembly, had just finished her speech and had invited an MP to speak.
However, as the MP was speaking, another one raised his hand on a point of order and raised the NG-CDF bursary issue.
At this point, National Assembly NG-CDF Committee chairman Musa Sirma said they cannot continue with the training without the amount in their accounts.