The High Court has temporarily suspended the Treasury CS, Ukur Yattani’s proposal to dissolve the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund (SFRTF), transferring its functions to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
In April this year, Mr Yattani issued a legal notice to dissolve the Fund by revoking the Public Finance Management Act of 2015, through which the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund was established. Thereafter, activist Okiya Omtatah filed a case in court, arguing that the legal notice was arbitrary because there was no public participation.
Furthermore, the activist said that the dissolution of the fund would lead to misappropriation of the KSh10 billion currently in its accounts.
“An order is hereby issued suspending the decision of the Treasury CS to revoke the Public Finance Management on Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund, which purported to disband the fund and return its functions to Treasury,” Standard media quoted judge Weldon Korir.
The oversight board of the fund said that dissolving it will leave the process of strategic food reserve management to ministries without any oversight, which could lead to losses.
The Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund was established in 2015 under the Public Finance Management Act, to ensure the stability of food supplies and prices by mobilizing funds to support related activities.
The fund’s initial capital was KSh2.2 billion, and it has continued to receive budgetary allocations from the government in subsequent financial years. It currently holds KSh10 billion in its accounts.
The suspension by the High Court will stay in place until 1st July 2020 when the suit will be heard.