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GRAND POVERTY DUE TO GRAND CABINET

Kenya: Grand Cabinet to Cost Sh33bn in Two Months

 

The Nation (Nairobi)
 

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Jeff Otieno And Benard Namunane
Nairobi

Taxpayers will pay Sh33 billion to fund the grand coalition Cabinet in the next two months alone.

Some of the money will be shifted from programmes with major social implications, including the building of new hospitals and road rehabilitation.

The programmes had been factored into the Budget for the current financial year which ends in June.

The high cost of managing the expanded Cabinet became clear in a mini-budget presented by Finance minister Amos Kimunya in Parliament Tuesday..

Besides shifting money from key programmes, the Government will have to come up with new measures to raise an extra Sh22.3 billion to meet the costs of running the new ministries and pay for other priority needs, including resettling internal refugees and mitigating against the effects of post-election violence.

The appointment of a record number of 42 ministers in the grand coalition formed by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga ignored calls by civil society and other groups for a lean Cabinet.

Endorse estimates

Parliament is expected to endorse Mr Kimunya’s estimates to enable the new ministries carry out their functions before the next Budget is read in mid-June.

The extra funds will finance the new office of the Prime Minister, which is to get Sh243.9 million as recurrent vote and 183.4 million for development, bringing the total to Sh427.3 million.

The PM’s office, whose role is to supervise and coordinate government affairs, was created after the signing of the National Accord that allowed for power-sharing between President Kibaki’s PNU and Mr Odinga’s ODM.

The President had already appointed 17 ministers from PNU and its partners in Kanu and ODM Kenya, but then expanded the Cabinet to incorporate the former opposition ODM. This made it necessary to split several ministries and create some new ones.

Among the entirely new dockets are the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development headed by Mr Mutula Kilonzo, which gets Sh41.5 million, and the Ministry of Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands, headed by Mr Ibrahim Elmi Mohamed that gets Sh42.4 million for recurrent expenditure and Sh1.8 billion for various projects.

Most of the others were split from existing ministries. They include the Forestry and Wildlife ministry that will need Sh3.2 billion to pay salaries and other expenses and Sh1.5 billion as development expenditure

The Medical Services ministry headed by Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o has been allocated Sh102.2 million as recurrent expenditure. It has not been allocated funding for development. It was formerly part of the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Industrialisation headed by Mr Henry Kosgey is to get Sh1.17 billion as recurrent and Sh503 million for its development expenditures. Some of the money is expected to come from the Trade ministry under Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta. He will be asked to surrender Sh950.9 million.

And the Ministry of Fisheries, which was hived off the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, has asked for Sh717.9 million as recurrent and Sh213 million as development expenditure.

The Ministry of Public Works, which was split from the Roads ministry, will need Sh791.7 million as recurrent expenditure and Sh1.7 billion for various projects countrywide.

New roads

In the development budget, money allocated to roads will be reduced by Sh2.58 billion, meaning that rehabilitation and construction of new roads is likely to be affected for the next two months.

To fund the new ministries, the Government had to reduce money allocated to some key ministries with the major casualty being Education whose recurrent expenditure will be reduced by Sh9.8 billion if approved by Parliament.

The Ministry of Finance, a key player in preparing the mini-budget, will lose Sh3.2 billion from its recurrent expenditure estimates, while the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, headed by Mr John Michuki will lose Sh2.1 billion from its recurrent vote, probably reallocated to the new Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife.

The State Law Office, whose core duty is to formulate Bills, new laws and regulations will be required to give up Sh150 million from its current budget. The recurrent budget for the National Assembly will be reduced by Sh384 million.

Another Sh284 million will come from the recurrent budget for the Ministry of Special Programmes, while the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission’s budget will be reduced by Sh37.3 million.

The Ministry of Roads will also have to do with a reduced budget as it will be required to surrender Sh550 million after creation of a separate Ministry of Public Works.

Relevant Links

The Ministry of Tourism, which has surrendered Wildlife docket, has been asked to return 66.8 million from its recurrent budget. This could affect marketing strategies even as the industry seeks to recover from the effects of post-election violence.

The Information ministry will give up Sh29.9 million from its recurrent budget.

Afforestation will also be affected because the development budget for the Ministry of Environment will be reduced by Sh1.1 billion.

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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