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Supreme Court renders CDF unconstitutional

The means that incoming MPs may not have a fund to help their constituents

Chief Justice Martha Koome

The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has been declared illegal by a Supreme Court ruling delivered on Monday, August 8.

In a landmark ruling delivered by Chief Justice Martha Koome, the CDF Act has been declared illegal and unconstitutional. According to the Supreme Court, the CDF Act of 2013 was not passed procedurally and the appeal made was subject to debate.

“A declaration is hereby made that the Constituency Development Fund Act, 2013 is unconstitutional. Having fully considered all the issues delineated by this court for determination we find as follows;

"The appeal made before this court was not moot and the CDF Act of 2013 as amended by the CDF is unconstitutional on the account of procedural lapses for failing to involve the Senate in its enactment,” the ruling read

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The ruling further said that the CDF Act of 2013 offends the division of functions between the national and county governments.

The CDF was established in 2003 to enable the government to set aside at least 2.5 per cent of its ordinary revenue and channel it towards the fund in a bid to utilize it at the constituency level.

This was amended in 2007, to establish the National CDF Boards at the constituency level to replace the national committee.

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Under the amendment, CDF committees were established with respective MPs being tasked as the patrons. The CDF Act 2013, however, repealed the 2007 Act, essentially tasking MPs to implement projects funded by the public.

The five-judge bench behind the ruling was comprised of Chief Justice Martha Koome, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u, Justice William Ouko and Justice Smokin Wanjala.

The case was presented in court by economic lobbyists Institute for Social Accountability (TISA) and the Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG).

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