CJ Martha Koome on why CDF is illegal

CJ Martha Koome on why CDF is illegal

File image of Chief Justice Martha Koome. PHOTO| COURTESY

Chief Justice Martha Koome has revealed the reasons why the Supreme Court declared the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) illegal.

The CJ, through a Recorded Televised Address to Senators attending an induction retreat in Naivasha, stated that the kitty offends the division of functions between national and county governments.

CJ Koome, who was one of the speakers at the retreat on Wednesday, called upon senators to play an authoritative role in protecting their constitutional mandate of oversight over devolved units.

 Koome used the opportunity to reveal that it was for the same reason that the Supreme Court declared CDF illegal.

"More recently in the CDF Case (2022), the Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to allocate funds to the CDF before the division of revenue between the national and county governments," said the CJ.

"In addition, it was the position of the Court that it offends the division of functions between national and county governments to allow the CDF, an instrumentality of the national government, to undertake functions devolved to the counties." 

Although CDF is null and void, the MPs are now banking on the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF), which according to the fund's Chief Executive Yussuf Mbuno will now use a new formula that will benefit populous constituencies and areas which are sparsely populated.

The Chief Justice at the same time termed devolution a constitutional project which must be protected at all costs.

"The Courts serve a protective role by guarding the institutions established to engender the project of devolution of governance. The Courts have been the foremost defenders of devolution. In every instance when devolution has been threatened, the courts and specifically the Supreme Court has stepped in to defend the spirit of devolution," she said.

Other than the CJ’s input, Senators were also enlightened on Inter-Governmental relations with the Executive, with addresses from representatives of the Office of the Attorney General, Auditor General and the Council of Governors.

Newly elected Council of Governors (CoG) chairperson Anne Waiguru weighed in to underscore the need to adhere to the six-judge bench ruling.

"The CDF is a delicate issue which can only be interpreted by the Supreme Court," Waiguru said.


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