Category Archives: CDF


Had a breakfast chat with the Member of Parliament for Laisamis (in Northern Kenya), Joseph Lekuton who’s here at TED to give a brief talk this morning and we discussed the constituency development fund in program in Kenya.

CDF was established in 2003 and is a program that directs 2.5% of the Kenya government revenue (from taxes) to be directly apportioned to the 210 constituencies depending on their population and other demographics. Local committees administer the fund and pick the programs which are to be financed e.g schools, dispensaries. The Laisamis CDF has disbursed its full allocation of about $600,000 for the year which he has committed to deliver services to his constituents who are largely nomadic.

More stories about the MP and Marsabit district, where Laisamis is located, which has a dedicated website.

Opportunities – February 3

from the daily papers this week


Principal consultant – corporate financial services at Deloitte Tanzania. Apply to by 16/3

East African Breweries: marketing manager (MM/MD/02.07), brand manager (BM/MD/02.06). apply to by 14/2

East African Cables: marketing manager (MM/07), group procurement & logistics manager (GPLM/07) and other engineering positions. Apply to by 10/2

Family Finance: Apply online for company secretary, works officer, and executive secretary by 16/2

Hilton Hotel: Managers (operations, credit, Food & Beverage, Sales Account), Internal Auditor, Trainees (front office, F&B). send one page CV to

Government of Kenya: Account managers (210 positions) at the Constituency Development Fund national management committee secretariat to be based at constituency level. Applicants must be degree holders with accounting or project management experience, good computer skills, and be under 45 years of age. Those selected will undergo 3-month probation after which they will be awarded 3-year contracts. Apply to by 28/2

IFC (modern lighting program): senior program manager (Kenya or Ghana), program manager Kenya. details online D/L is 24/2

Head of forensics (HF/32/07) at KCB. Apply through KPMG at by 16/2

Simba technology limited: functional consultant – oracle e business suite (3
positions), functional consultants Orion enterprise/advantage (3), functional consultants – banking (2), functional consultants – insurance (3). Apply to by 10/2 ( REF: 150106)

UNDP Kenya election assistance program: communications & education specialist, finance officer, procurement officer, and administrative associate. Apply to by 7/2

Aga Khan Foundation: for development -related overseas postgraduate apply by
(50% grant 50% loan payable 5 years after completion that covers tuition & living expenses only) . D/L for applications to the Nairobi office is 15/3

Ford foundation: Details at international fellowship program and D/L is 9/3

Economics not Politics

It must be said that the current government is looking good to farmers in several rural communities.

While us urbanites are concerned with issues like corruption, governance, broadband, media freedom, mercenaries etc., farmers just want to earn a decent living from their hard work – and this government has made several right moves.

One of these was to revive the Kenya Meat Commission and another was during the recent drought when government agencies were out buying livestock to minimise farmer’s losses.

For dairy farmers, the turnaround has been very dramatic. Where a few years ago milk was selling at 7 shillings per litre, farmers were pouring milk by the roadside as the industry had very low capacity and could only process a limited amount of milk. Now milk commands 17 or 18 shillings per litre and there are many companies buying milk, and paying farmers on time, including a revamped KCC that is now able to process and distribute milk nationwide after many years in obscurity.

If the government can sort out the greed in the sugar and coffee sectors and fix the country’s infrastructure (roads and railways) it will have connected with people’s stomachs which, in a way, matters much more than their minds.

Throw in other goodies like free primary education, Kengen & other IPOs, and the constituency development funds (CDF) and things look quite good. With the electorate wiser than ever, the 2007 elections will be harsher on MP’s, than on the government, and we are likely to see several dozen new faces in parliament in 2008.

Any MP who misuses the CDF will bear the brunt of voters as only a foolish or crooked MP can fail to make an impact with direct funds from the government at his/her disposal.

Even though there is still an unhealthy obsession with becoming an MP, and crowds of recycled/rejected politicians jumping parties to be in the right place, there are many new faces willing to taking the plunge into politics to make a positive difference.

The problem is that the government has such a poor image and even worse sales people – that even this simple message does not translate via the media. Also the message of economic prosperity is difficult to push through since cash handouts at election time are a necessary evil and the only way that old politicians perceive as a way to sway gullible voters. This is an expensive, misguided habit and old habits from old politicians die hard.

One senior official has just upgraded to the latest S-class barely month after the Finance Minister announced a cutback in government expenditure on limousines.

papa’s got a brand new bag

CDF Tales & ATM wars

CDF tales
In bar talk over the weekend, I had a chat a disillusioned member of one constituency development fund (CDF) committee who lamented the woes of his mis-managed committee. He’s a reluctant member who wants to make a positive difference, but it costs 5,000 shillings for him to travel to his rural area for a committee meeting where he will receive a 1,000 shilling sitting allowance. The MP (& CDF Chairman) has said not to worry, because there’s enough ‘float’ in the process to make it worth his time.

Certain MP’s have hailed CDF as the greatest act parliament has ever passed. The 2003 Act seeks to proportionally channel government funds (2.5% of annual government revenue) to each constituency, by-passing the central government (president and ministerial budget allocations) and financing rural projects directly. MP’s are now demigods who in addition to CDF funds,also control AIDS funds, bursary kitty, and roads kitty and have also been awarded more funds to set up rural offices.

There are two problems I see with CDF (i) The composition of the afore-mentioned CDF committee which can have 12 to 15 members comprising (elected MP, two councillors, one district officer, two reps of religious organization, two men, two women, one youth rep, one nominee from active NGO) (ii) CDF projects are to be audited and reported upon by the over-worked office of the Controller and Auditor-General.

I’d like to see audits of CDF done by private sector accountants and auditors who are much more qualified and who efficiently audit thousands of small companies even at constituency level around the country each year. Same with wealth declarations – it is better to have existing, certified accountants scrutinise the wealth returns of public officers instead of creating a whole new commission (Ethics & Integrity). The private sector would do a much better job.

At the CDF web site launch, the CDF management committee asked Transparency International not to secretly audit CDF projects without involving MP’s and at the same time indicated that they would work with the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission to combat corruption and misappropriation of CDF funds.

Certain MP’s have performed excellent development jobs with CDF funds including Peter Kenneth (NARC – Gatanga) and Billow Kerrow (KANU – Mandera Central). But not the MP who was the subject of our conversation and who may easily siphon over 100 million shillings from his constituents by the end of his term (he doesn’t expect to stand for re-election).

IT snafu? The Controversial MP profiles are back online at the Parliamentary site.

ATM wars
Pesa Point has signed up three banks so far; Diamond Trust, Fina and NIC (Move) and now has a total of 47 live ATM’s with a goal to set up 120 by year end. They compete directly Kenswitch, but are both still dwarfed by Co-op, KCB, Stanchart, and Barclays ATM networks.
– Equity Bank announced that they will launch 10 ATM’s on Kimathi Street (in front of Nation Centre) this month.
– The number of ATM’s is getting comical, and they are taking up much needed space in some shopping areas. So the new Nakumatt Junction has set up an ATM area with three different ATM machines side by side (Stanchart, NIC and KCB)
– Pesa Point stand-alone ATM’s look like old style telephone booths but inside resemble potty toilets, with their plastic casing and bright colours.
– KCB has waived joining fees for its credit cards till the end of the year.

Kisumu Rural has Kenya’s first constituency web site

Once you get past the header (that looks like an error), you’ll find an unbelievably good page – with info. on constituency leaders, campaigns fund, news & views, a district profile, tourist attractions, projects, demographic characteristics, socio-economic profile, HIV/AIDS constituency campaign, development fund and harambee funds etc. It also links to other sites, has an online forum and gives a full breakdown on how the 6 million shillings CDF funds and harambee funds (1.9 million) will be used.

This is likely to cause a stampede as other MP’s, flush with CDF cash, rush out to build the jazziest sites seen in Kenya, reminiscent of the mid-90’s when every company in the world was determined to build the biggest and best web site.

Hon. Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyongo, (M.P.) is way ahead of his time. Can we just elect this guy president tomorrow? (Hat tip to the Standard 20/6/05 – not online)