How Uhuru whipped MPs to approve budget estimates

Details have emerged on how President Uhuru Kenyatta read a riot act to Jubilee MPs to approve budget estimates which they had threatened to scuttle down.

The MPs had reportedly reached a truce with their colleagues in the Opposition not to pass the budget estimates in protest of a case challenging the legality of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Majority of MPs who contributed to the debate said the fund has helped in initiating development projects in the constituencies and, therefore, any threat to the fund would lead to a big loss to the country.

Majority leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale admitted that it was not easy to convince the MPs to change their mind over the budget estimates and therefore had to organize a meeting with the President to solve the standoff.

“It was not easy to change anything, I therefore, was very tactical and sent them (MPs) a message that the meeting with the President was about IEBC and not budget estimates,” Duale said.

The majority leader said he had a conversation with the President and advised him not to be soft on the MPs as they have made up their mind.

“I told the President that he has been kind and soft to the MPs and its time they know his true character,” Duale said.

At the meeting that was held at the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi last Thursday and lasted for only 10 minutes, the agitated President read riot act to the MPs a move that saw even the most vocal legislators humbled.

“MP known to the public to be vocal started pleading with the President to forgive them as they were emotional during the debate,” Duale said.

“I have never seen the President in that mood, MPs became humble as others were pleading for forgiveness,” he added.

Duale said MPs were not even given time to ask any question or clarification “The President finished his dress down and left no question or any clarification.”

He said that the MPs were not even aware that the President and his deputy who rode in the same car on that particular day had arrived at the hotel.

“They used the same car with few security detail and traffic was not disrupted as has been the case whenever the President goes to a particular within the town, MPs were shocked to him in the hotel,” Duale said

Duale said he warned the MPs against their action to team up with the Opposition but they couldn’t listen.

“I told them their action will not go down well with the President and that the best they can do is pass the budget estimates then can cut the appropriations of various agencies later,” Duale said.



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