Donors suspend key funding
Story by JEFF OTIENO
31. Jan. 2008
Donors have suspended funding worth millions of dollars to one of
the most important government programmes.
The affected programme is the Governance, Justice, Law and Order
Sector Reform Programme. State agencies benefiting from the
programme dating back to 2005 will lose funds to the tune of Sh2.9
The decision follows the post-election crisis sparked by the
disputed vote tallying of the December 27 General Election, in
which the Electoral Commission is perceived to have favoured Mr
Mwai Kibaki for President against Mr Raila Odinga.
Major donors had earlier warned Kenya that they would not be
conducting “business as usual” if the crisis persisted.
A letter to ministries, departments and agencies, said the
Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector Reform Programme Basket
Fund Development Partners had reached a joint decision to stop any
new commitments until further notice. The programme’s chief
technical coordinator Jacques Cartens, said the decision was short
term, and would be reviewed regularly.
The decision affects Medium Term Strategy Three funding, which was
supposed to begin this financial year.
Police, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights the National
Registration Bureau and National Youth Service are affected by the
move. Others are the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Law Reform
Commission, the Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee, the
AG’s Office, and Prisons Service.
Police and prisons workshops, equipment purchase, and law reform
human rights campaigns in the media are specifically affected.
The commission stands to suffer the most, as 90 per cent of its
programmes are funded by the governance reform programme, with the
Government only paying staff salaries and office rent.
On Wednesday, Mr Cartens referred the Nation to the Swedish
embassy, saying, it was “the major donor of the programme.”
Swedish ambassador Anna Brandt confirmed the aid suspension
pending the outcome of mediation brokered by former UN chief Mr
“We are not going to enter into new contracts with the Government
following the current political crisis,” she said, and expressed
disappointment that violence currently being witnessed in Kenya
had taken ethnic dimensions and must be stopped.
Ms Brandt welcomed the decision by Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga to work
together for a lasting solution to the problem.
The aid freeze letter to the ministries said: “In cases where your
department/agency has submitted a basket funded procurement
request to the governance reform programme the approval of these
requests will be put on hold until further notice.
“In cases where procurement requests from your department/agency
have already been approved by the governance reform programme, the
Financial Management Agent will not be in a position to make a
financial commitment in support of the specific activity.
“You are therefore advised not to proceed with these procurements
until further notice.”
The information on the aid freeze has already been relayed to all
the affected government departments and agencies.