This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Mudavadi office relies on State House cash in budget hitch


Mudavadi office relies on State House cash in budget hitch

Tuesday April 18 2023

President William Ruto (right) with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua (left) and Prime Cabinet Minister Musalia Mudavadi (centre) during the 2nd Day of the Inaugural Retreat for Cabinet and Senior Ranks of the Executive at Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, Laikipia County on January 6, 2023. PHOTO | PCS

Newly created offices, including that of Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, are relying on other ministries for funding of day-to-day operations after the Treasury failed to disburse their budgeted monies.

Treasury data show that 13 new offices, which were created in November, are yet to receive a cent from the government’s main account at the end of March.

This has forced them to rely on their parent ministries during the Uhuru Kenyatta era for cash following delays in approving the Supplementary Budget, which reflected President William Ruto’s new structure.

The National Police Service is still relying on funding from the Interior Ministry despite Dr Ruto making it autonomous and putting its budget under the office of the Inspector-General (IG).

Mr Mudavadi, who was offered the newly established Prime Cabinet Secretary with a Sh771.91 million budget, is relying on the presidency, which hosts Dr Ruto’s office, for cash.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua is also relying on the Presidency for funding despite being offered a separate and independent allocation of Sh849.20 million.

The Treasury has blamed the delay on legal paperwork and logistics following the signing of the Supplementary Budget, which raised the recurrent expenditure by Sh87.57 billion partly to fund the newly created offices, on March 5 amid a cash crunch.

Recurrent expenditure normally includes civil servants’ salaries, domestic and foreign travel as well as fuel costs for the government’s fleet of vehicles.

“This happens during transition. As with any new vote [State ministry, department or agency], their logistical arrangements that have to be put in place to facilitate the operations of a vote,” director-general for Budget, Fiscal and Economic Affairs at the Treasury, Albert Mwenda, told the Business Daily.

“The offices…are well funded and facilitated through other votes or other legal provisions that allow for funding of new offices pending approval and that’s how they are able to operate.”

Dr Ruto is presiding over the most bloated government in recent years, having increased State departments to 51 from his predecessor’s 44 and further appointed 50 chief administrative secretaries against 29 previously.

Read: Ruto tweaks Uhuru budget, grows recurrent by Sh87.6bn

He won a hotly contested election last August, pledging to lift millions out of poverty, but he is facing challenges from the high cost of living and growing debt repayments.

This led to protests organised by veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga, who was unsuccessful in his fifth bid for the presidency, for two weeks in March.

Mr Gachagua, whose main budget falls under the Executive Office of the President, said earlier the additional funds will be spent on clearing pending bills incurred by his predecessor, Dr Ruto, including arrears to staff.

Treasury data show that over half of these funds, Sh477.4 million, will be used for support services for the office of the Deputy President.

Another Sh145.3 million has been set aside for headquarters and administrative services.

Office of the Spouse to the Deputy President has been allocated Sh68.8 million while another Sh50 million is for international development partnerships coordination.

Mr Mudavadi’s office has a Sh167 million budget for operating expenses, the Treasury data show.

Refurbishment of buildings and purchase of new cars will each receive Sh80 million in the latest mini-budget, while the purchase of office furniture and general equipment will cost taxpayers Sh60 million.

The new office will use Sh45 million for the purchase of specialised plant, equipment and machinery, Sh41 million for rentals and Sh36.3 million for hospitality.

“Office of the PCS [Prime Cabinet Secretary] is being funded partly through the Executive Office of the President and partly through the vote of the Office of the PCS,” Mr Mwenda said.

The recurrent expenditure of the new offices, including State departments for Mining, Forestry, Diaspora Affairs and Investment Promotion, for the year ending June is Sh44.5 billion, with the National Police Service taking Sh24.6 billion.

The delayed funding has affected State departments of Internal Security and National Administration, which were allocated Sh8.09 billion in the revised budget, Foreign Affairs (Sh4.65 billion), Forestry (Sh2.15 billion), Diaspora Affairs (Sh700 million), Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Sh416.92 million) and Mining (Sh212.72 million).

Lawmakers in February increased recurrent expenditure for the current financial year to Sh1.27 trillion from Sh1.18 trillion.

Last week, Dr Ruto admitted his administration was battling a cash crunch that saw salaries for a section of public service employees for March delayed, blaming elevated debt repayments.

“I know we have an issue of delayed salaries. It is the first time this has happened but also it is the first time we are having such monumental debts,” the President said on April 11.

Read: Ruto, Rigathi, Mudavadi get Sh802m for new cars

“We are not borrowing money for recurrent expenditure, including salaries.”

Data released by the Treasury last Friday showed expenditure on servicing debts amounted to Sh121.31 billion in March, the second largest monthly repayment costs this financial year after Sh123.53 billion in January.

[email protected]