Parliament is headed for a collision course with the National Treasury over a proposal that it drops plans to buy a 40-acre piece of land worth nearly Sh1 billion for a training centre for MPs.
The National Treasury wants to take from the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) Sh954 million allocated to it to buy the land to host the Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training (CPST) and instead allocate the said money to Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) to enable it buy a new office.
Appearing before the departmental committee on Finance to defend the 2016/2017 supplementary estimates Thugge told mps that there is no need for parliament to have the money as it already has a building in Karen which us currently hosting the CPST.
The said money was included in the budget to enable PSC buy the land in Limuru to put up the CPST center. In the 2016/2017 supplementary estimates EACC has been allocated Sh0.5b to enable it purchase the new building.
He said: “we had put some money for purchase of land in Karen to put in place of parliamentary institute but we think it is better for parliament to remain with what they have in Karen and then given the money to EACC.” Thugge told the legislators that they want to acquire the said building that will host both EACC and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
The proposal to buy the land for the CPST is part of the bargain the commission plans to secure to host the East African Parliamentary Institute. Last June, Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman Mutava Musyimi spoke in the National Assembly about the matter, telling MPs that CPST had initially been allocated Sh150 million for the project.
Late last month Nyamira senator Okong’o Mong’are claimed that the commission was planning to buy the said land from one of the PSC commissioners at a cost of Sh 1b. Consequently the mps could also clash with the national treasury over the reallocation of Sh 10b that is the constituency development fund to education and infrastructure ministries.
The legislators took issue with the said proposal and demanded that instead of Sh 5b going to in infrastructure all the money should go towards funding education because they no longer have a role in the rehabilitation of roads or water after the high court ruled that the said function is a function of the county government.
Their comments came after Thugge told the mps that there CDF money was intact only that it had been shared between the two departments. Thugge also told the legislators that he will be meeting the budget and appropriations office to determine on the areas and the projects the mps want the Sh 10b to fund.
He said: “we have had so many disruptions on this CDF, remember we had allocated it Sh 35b but the high court said we cannot allocate more than Sh25b and therefore the Sh 10b we put in infrastructure and education