What you need to know:
- His election comes as the committee readies for a busy budget-making season that includes considering the Sh120 billion supplementary estimates for the 2020/21 financial year currently before the House.
Kieni MP Kanini Kega will chair the Budget and Appropriations Committee until the end of the current term of the National Assembly following his unanimous election last Monday.
His election comes as the committee readies for a busy budget-making season that includes considering the Sh120 billion supplementary estimates for the 2020/21 financial year currently before the House.
There is also the 2021 Budget Policy Statement (BPS) that was presented to the House on Tuesday last week.
The tabling of the BPS signals the beginning of the budget-making process for a financial year.
Mr Kanini noted that the committee may be forced to go beyond the call of duty to finalise pending matters.
“The election is just the beginning of a very busy schedule for the committee. I have already told members that they should be ready to work at any time because the task ahead is huge,” Mr Kanini said.
Vice chair election delayed
The committee’s vice chair will, however, be known in a week’s time as members retreated to consult their party leaders before choosing between Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu and his Ikolomani colleague Bernard Shinali.
“We decided to delay the election of the vice chair for more consultations with our party leaders,” Navakholo MP Emanuel Wangwe, a member of the committee and majority whip, told the Nation.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party is the dominant one in the 25-member committee, followed by Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
Mr Mulu, an accomplished economist, and Mr Shinali, are the only members who applied and got cleared to contest the vice chair position.
Eldama Ravine MP, the outgoing vice chair, opted not to defend the seat, leaving room for his colleagues to contest.
However, a majority of the committee members prefer Mr Mulu for the vice chair position based on his vast experience and expertise in budget related matters.
“With his experience at the leadership level, the committee will benefit a lot. His unquestionable integrity is all the committee needs to undertake its responsibilities,” a member who did not want to go on record said of the second-term MP.
The committee has the mandate to investigate, inquire into and report to the House on all matters related to coordination, control and monitoring of the national budget, as well as discuss and review estimates and make recommendations.
It also examines the BPS and Bills related to the national budget, including the Appropriations Bill, and evaluates tax estimates, economic and budgetary policies and programmes with direct budget outlays.
The National Assembly Standing Orders state that the budget committee constituted by the House immediately after the General-Election shall serve for three calendar years.
The one constituted thereafter shall serve for the remainder of the parliamentary term. At least 17 members of the committee shall form a quorum to deliberate on businesses before it.
In doing its job, the committee invites chairs of all departmental committees to make presentations during the consideration of the budget.