PARLIAMENT WANTS COURT TO LIFT ORDER ON WOMEN FUNDS.

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womerepSeveral Women Representatives leaving Milimani law courts after the hearing of case they are seeking high court to reverse orders stopping the disbursement of funds to the newly created Women Representatives kitty on Thursday January 14, 2016.
BY SAM ALFAN.

Parliament has urged the High Court to reverse orders stopping the disbursement of funds to the newly created Women Representatives kitty.

Justice Joseph Onguto has been implored to do so on the grounds that orders issued last December have highly prejudiced the vulnerable in the society.

Lawyer Sheriff Sam Mwendwa for the National Assembly told the court if the directive persists government projects will be crippled.

The court heard that staff have been recruited to carry out projects and are yet to receive their salaries for three months.

“Employed officers who need to be paid using the funds were waiting for structures to be put in place,’’ he argued.

The court stopped reimbursement of the funds following an urgent application by a lobby group who have argued that that latter is unconstitutional.

The judge directed all the bank accounts created to facilitate disbursement of the Affirmative Action Social Development Fund to remain frozen pending determination of the case.

Through lawyer Suyianka Lempaa, the petitioner has argued that there was no public participation in establishment of the fund.

He contended the fund was not approved by the Senate, even though it directly affects counties.

During the hearing a state counsel representing the Attorney- General failed to inform the court that funds had already been disbursed.

“Assertions that funds have not been disbursed was a mistake. The position is that they have already been distributed, ’he added.

Justice Onguto heard the funds established under section 24(4) of the Public Finance Act are targeting the needy, weak, orphans and the old.

High Court last year declined to lift orders that barred the National Treasury from disbursing monies to the kitty.

Judge Joseph Onguto refused to review his orders that tied off Sh2 billion from the 47 women legislators elected on affirmative action in the 2013 elections noting that they will not suffer if the orders are not lifted.

The Government through Attorney General Githu Muigai wanted the orders lifted, arguing that the money had already been allocated for use, some of which had already been issued as bursaries and some for buying cars for the woman reps.

“It is unfortunate that the employees will have to suffer the consequences,” Justice Onguto said adding that the application for review will have to be heard when the court opens for the new term.

Onguto froze all the bank accounts of the fund and its county committees will remain frozen until the outcome of a petition lodged by Institute for Social Accountability (ISA) is determined.

The ruling is due on January 21.

 

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