President William Ruto on Tuesday called out Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u over the lack of gender balance in appointments to the pending bills verification committee.
Speaking during the launch of the committee, Ruto noted that it does not adhere to the two-thirds gender rule. Out of the 20 members, only four were women, contrary to the seven in line with the Constitution.
“Just to assist my CS with just some housekeeping, I am not a good mathematician, but being a scientist, I know something about math. When I looked at the committee, it was clear to me that it was not constitutional because it lacked gender balance,” Ruto argued.
‘I respectfully suggest, Mr Minister, that you either reduce the number of men or increase the number of women,” he added.
Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u during a meeting with UN officials at his office on February 24, 2023.
The National Treasury
In June this year, the Cabinet approved the establishment of the special committee to look into the public pending bills which will establish the authenticity of funds owed to small enterprises.
The appointees have also been tasked to audit pending bills between 2005 and 2022 and propose a mechanism to stop future pending bills.
According to the Cabinet meeting held in June, the National government bills from June 2005 to June 2022 stand at Ksh 481 billion, while counties owe Ksh 159.9 billion.
The cabinet resolved that the committee would consist of the Attorney General, the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority, the State Department of Roads, the State Department of Public Works, and the State Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Law Society of Kenya, the Institute of Engineers of Kenya, and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya also have representatives on the committee.
In a Gazette notice dated 29 September 2023, the Treasury CS appointed former Auditor General Edward Ouko as Chairperson and Tirop Kosgey as the Vice-Chairperson. Others were Ali Abdulrazaq, Hesbon Omollo, Eric Onyango Gumbo, Patience Mulondo, James Washington Munene Gitonga, and Bernard Ndungu.
Also on the committee are Nicholas Munywoki Mutua, James Kung’u, Cassius Kusienya, Peter Kitheka, Margaret Gichimu, Maximus Siwa, Kanini Nthiga, Livingstone Mburu, David Kipchumba Ruto and Susan Oyats.
President William Ruto speaking at State House, Nairobi on November 7, 2023.