When it rains it pours, so goes the popular saying. Barely 48 hours after the Kenyatta name was splashed on international news headlines for involvement in shady multi-million dollar tax havens, now another Kshs 8.64 billion spending and wastage controversy presents a new headache for the president, who is yet to address the Pandora tax havens issue. What’s more, this new scandal also involves his deputy, Dr. William Ruto, too. Time appears ripe for a huge salacious scandal of a sexual nature that is likely to drop anytime now, which will capture people’s imagination and distract them from all this. Such has been the Modus Operandi of the government whenever it’s under siege.
The Office of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto spent Sh8.64 billion or four times more on staff salaries and allowances in the year to June, hurting efforts to free more public funds for development projects.
Data by the Controller of Budget office shows that the pay for staff working in the country’s two most powerful political offices grew 282 percent from Sh2.26 billion a year earlier.
The Controller of Budget did not disclose what drove the increase, coming on the back of growing calls to cut down spending for non-core items that continue to squeeze funds for development projects.
Margaret Nyakango, the Controller of Budget, said the increase in the spending on salaries and allowances in the two offices and other State agencies forced the government to divert loans meant for development projects to compensate employees amid cash-flow struggles by the Exchequer.
“There were instances where revenue from loans and grants meant to fund development activities was applied to the recurrent budget,” Ms Nyakango says in the latest report.
The report shows that Kenya diverted funds from a Sh80.78 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to pay salaries and allowances in June.
Salaries and allowances for the TSC rose by Sh18 billion to Sh273.4 billion, while those for the Ministry of Interior grew by Sh4.5 billion to Sh92.18 billion.
Increased spending on pay for staff in the office of President Kenyatta and his deputy pushed the overall payout to public servants by Sh43.5 billion to Sh489.06 billion in the year ended June, piling pressure on the wage bill that continues to squeeze funds for development.
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