NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 - The riddle over the civic education funds continues unresolved with the Treasury remaining firm it had no more funds to disburse, at least in the current financial year.
Despite an insistence from Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo and the Committee of Experts that the Treasury still owes money, the Finance Ministry says that it has released all the funds due.
In a statement, Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua said that the last batch of Sh100 million meant for the civic education programme had been released, while Sh230 million had been used to print copies of the proposed new law.
“As far as the Treasury is concerned, all the financing for the three activities has been provided as agreed with the CoE,” said Mr Kinyua while ruling out the prospect of the government releasing more funds for the exercise.
Mr Kinyua said the Treasury had earlier engaged with the Committee of Experts on several occasions to agree on the modalities of financing the main activities leading to the referendum which are printing of the Constitution, civic education and media publicity.
He said the total budget of printing by the government printer is Sh1.2 billion of which Sh400 million has already been and the balance has been factored in the next fiscal year.
“It was agreed that due to budgetary constraints, GoK financing would be prorated such that only those activities that are to take place in May and June 2010 were going to be financed, while the balance would be provided for in the 2010/11 budget,” he said.
The budget is due to be read on June 10.
Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday dismissed claims that the Treasury was frustrating the review process by delaying the release of funds saying: “I cannot break the law by releasing money that was not passed by Parliament.”
“All the facts relating to this matter are document and can be availed to anyone who wants to confirm,” Mr Kinyua added.
Last week the CoE and Mr Kilonzo however said that the explanation given by the government did not add up and expressed disappointment over the fiasco.
“We were supposed to be given Sh330 million but we have just been given Sh100 million. We have however seen that we cannot delay this exercise until the money arrives so we had to go forward with it being helped by donors,” said Nzamba Kitonga, chairman of the CoE.
“When we inquired from the Treasury about the funds, they told us that the funds would be made available and that we should talk to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs,” he stated.
He said that the Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review was now relying on limited funding from donors to fund the civic education programme after the Treasury delayed the release of monies as scheduled.
Mr Kitonga however said the Committee had been able to print copies of the draft in English, Kiswahili and Braille and further simplified it so that it can be easily understood.