Is Odm`s Move To Stop World Bank Neccessary?

Posted on March 28, 2008. Filed under: Butdoisay TRUE STORIES |

The Orange Democratic Movement wants the World Bank to postpone reviewing of funding contracts until a new Cabinet is in place.

ODM Secretary-General, Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, urged the World Bank to put on hold its missions to Kenya and halt funding of programmes until the grand coalition Cabinet is appointed.

The move would put into jeopardy a funding programme worth over Sh56 billion (US$ 1003 million) for several sectors, including free primary education, water and sanitation.

By January 2008, the World Bank’s portfolio in Kenya consisted of 16 active operations, including a grant from the Global Environment Facility, with a commitment of Sh65 billion.

“We are aware a World Bank mission is due and a delegation to Washington is afoot. We will not accept such partisan deals,” said Nyong’o in an interview.

He said the planned Kenyan delegation to Washington should be cancelled until the grand coalition Cabinet settles on who will represent Kenya as head of mission.

“We only have a partial government in place. The Constitution recognises the coalition government, so the two parties must harmonise their manifestos to be in tandem with lending and grant projects,” he said.

“It is not appropriate to negotiate with half a government and any attempt to rush the mission to Kenya or receive a delegation from Nairobi would be opposed by ODM,” said Nyong’o, who is also the MP for Kisumu Rural.

ODM and PNU have been embroiled in a dispute over the sharing of Cabinet positions after ODM rejected the slots offered to it, saying they did not reflect the spirit of power-sharing.

Said Nyong’o: “The Bank reiterated its commitment to help ensure a quick return to full economic activity and significantly greater attention to equity and governance. This is the time to do so.”

The World Bank supports initiatives in governance, transparency, public sector management reform, and national statistics.

Nyong’o said he did not expect the Bank to classify Kenya with countries like Somalia and rush emergency programmes that would amount to “an emotional response to a structural problem”.

Kenya is expected to benefit from a regional Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Global Environmental Facility (GEF) grant.

Since January 2006, the Executive Board of Directors at the Bank has approved ten projects.

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