Wednesday, September 17, 2008



September 16 2008
Daily Nation

Mvita constituency to get lowest amount of the CDF money. It has been allocated Sh35.5 million wile Bahari constituency to get the highest since it is ranked among the poorest constituencies in the country.It will get Sh60.7 million

Tourism Minister Najib Balala’s Mvita constituency will get the lowest amount of the CDF money in the country as it has been ranked the wealthiest constituency.

But the nearby Bahari constituency represented by Mr Fondo Gunda, the Chairman of Coast Parliamentary Association, will get the highest since it is ranked among the poorest.

The list released on Tuesday confirms that the Ministry of Planning and National Development’s latest constituency wealth and poverty index has been ignored as the basis of CDF allocations.

The index raised complaints about “rigging” even before it was released after MPs expressed suspicion about the rankings.

Bottom rungs

Some constituencies usually ranked among the wealthiest had slid down the ladder while others usually in the bottom rungs had moved up.

The complaints prompted Planning and National Development minister Wycliffe Oparanya to withhold publication of the report pending verification of the data.

The Nation exclusively published details of the shelved report on August 29.

Instead of data from the shelved report, CDF board used another formula to arrive at the figures and to rank the 210 constituencies.

Factors taken into consideration in allocating the funds included population, estimated number of poor residents and geographical size, among other indicators.

The release of the CDF money comes when constituencies have been waiting to use the money in repairing infrastructure affected, in many areas, by the post-election violence.

It includes schools, bridges, cattle dips, boreholes and access roads.

Mvita has been allocated Sh35.5 million followed by Lamu East, also in the Coast province, with Sh36.8 million and, Nyeri Town in Central province, represented by Gender minister Esther Murugi, with Sh37.2 million.

Mvita has a population of 71,108 out of who 24,544 are listed as poor people.

In contrast, Bahari, also in Coast province, is the poorest in the country and has a population of 227,554 out of whom 143,362 are said to be poor. Bahari will get Sh60.7million in the 2008-2009 financial year, the highest allocation in the country.

The second highest allocation will go to Agriculture minister William Ruto’s Eldoret North constituency in Rift Valley province which will get Sh60.4 million followed by Kaloleni, also in Coast Province, which has been given Sh60.3 million.

Full list

Releasing the full list on Tuesday, Mr Oparanya conceded that Government had given in to pressure from Members of Parliament to suspend use of the disputed poverty index in allocating this year’s Sh10.1 billion devolved funds to the 210 constituencies.CDF money: Mvita to get least, Bahari most

The list had shown that President Kibaki’s Othaya constituency in Central province had moved from the richest to one of the poorest constituencies. It has this year been allocated Sh39.6 million.

The biggest constituency in terms of size, North Horr in Eastern province has been allocated Sh39.9 million.

It has a population of 39,604 out of who a large proportion, 24,638 are classified below the poverty line.

Last year, a similar list caused uproar in Parliament when the then Kikuyu MP Paul Muite contested classification of his constituency as the richest in the country. He complained that the figures had been doctored to deny his constituents a rightful share of CDF money.

Planning minister said the Government had decided to use the old index to release the 2008-2009 allocation after consulting with the Parliamentary committee on the Constituency Development Fund, chaired by Mr Ekwe Ethuro.

Said the minister: “I have decided to use the poverty index which has ben used since the inception of CDF. The allocation has also taken into consideration changes which were effected by the Electoral Commission of Kenya in 2007 on constituency boundaries.”

Mr Oparanya, who is also the Butere MP, announced that the allocation criteria would be used for two financial years, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 before the new one was introduced.

Fielding questions from the media, the minister said: “While the Government had finalised the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey 2005-2006, it decided to make a deliberate decision not to use its poverty numbers to allocate CDF funds next year, until the 2009 Population Housing Census was conducted.’’

According to the latest CDF allocation list, Embakasi in Nairobi, represented by Mr Ferdinand Waititu, is the most populated in the country, with 408,921 residents out of whom 166,608 are listed as poor. The board has allocated Sh42.4 million for its development projects.

The other top five constituencies are assistant minister Elizabeth Ongoro’s Kasarani constituency in Nairobi (320,739), which has been given Sh41.8 million; Kisauni in Mombasa represented by Mr Ali Hassan Joho (244,739) and has been allocated Sh40.1 million; and Public Health minister, Mrs Beth Mugo’s Dagoretti constituency with 229,612 residents will get Sh39.9 million.

Several leaders have criticised the poverty index and the manner in which the ECK has created new constituencies.

They include Deputy Prime minister, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, who is also the Gatundu South MP, who has been calling for the splitting of heavily populated constituencies to ensure that the number of MPs to the electorate was fair.