Senate maintains its push for Oversight fund

Written by on 2 February 2023

A tussle pitting the Senate against the National Assembly over NG-CDF and the Senate Oversight Fund persisted yesterday, with senators insisting they would ensure the latter is operationalised without having to change the Constitution, as suggested by MPs.

Addressing the opening of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) post-election seminar for the Senate in Mombasa yesterday, Senate Speaker Amason Kingi said they had already started the process of operationalising the fund.

“We will be having a sitting with the Senate’s adhoc committee to look for ways of operationalising the Senate Oversight Fund. We need not touch the Constitution as we are being invited to do by the National Assembly … Let us resist that; it’s a very dangerous path,” Kingi explained in Mombasa yesterday.

Mutual respect

On his part, Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot accused the National Assembly of mocking the Senate, warning that the two houses must exercise mutual respect for each other.

“We don’t need unhealthy noise from political spheres. I was very annoyed by the remarks of the National Assembly minority leader when he mocked the Senate during the opening of their seminar. I want to remind our friends in the National Assembly that we, in the Senate, have survived without the Oversight Fund but they cannot survive without the NG-CDF, which must be passed by both houses. If they want us to live in peace, they should accord us respect,” said Cheruiyot.

Sober conversation

He called for sober conversations for the sake of the electorate.

He noted that the Oversight Fund enjoys the support of majority members. “The proposal, which I have on my table, is to entrench CDF, and the Senate Oversight Fund, and I am also getting a proposal for Ward Development Fund. This is good but we need sober conversations,” the Majority Leader said.

On his part, Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale insisted that the NG-CDF is unconstitutional since its functions have been taken over by devolved units.

“CDF is like John the Baptist in the Bible, who played his part and paved the way for Jesus Christ. Now devolution is like Jesus Christ. With devolution, we don’t need CDF anymore,” Khalwale said, insisting that the most important thing is the Senate Oversight Fund.

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