Amid a budgetary environment growing ever more stringent, Kenya’s power trifecta — President William Ruto, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi — are poised to reap the benefits of an additional Sh3.4 billion windfall in revised budget allocations.
As part of its second supplementary budget for the 2022/23 fiscal year ending June 30, 2023, the National Treasury has suggested increased spending for these three offices. This comes despite the tightening noose on development spending, with capital allocations slated for a drastic cut of Sh39 billion.
Executive Office of President Ruto Budget
The lion’s share of the budgetary windfall, a sizable Sh3.1 billion, will be allocated to the Executive Office of the President. Deputy President Gachagua’s office and the Prime Cabinet Secretary Mudavadi’s office will see their budget slices grow by Sh166 million and Sh81.3 million, respectively.
In a contrasting fiscal turn of events, a number of State departments and ministries are expected to bear the brunt of these budget revisions. Notable losers include the National Treasury, correctional services, infrastructure, the national assembly, the Teachers Service Commission, and crop development and agricultural research.
The newly added spending for the President’s Office will predominantly fund salaries for newly established offices and escalated operational and maintenance expenses.
This budgetary expansion, the National Treasury explains, will “cover shortfalls in personal emoluments and operations and maintenance expenditures for new offices in line with Executive Order 1 of 2023,” and will also be used to refurbish buildings.
President Uhuru Kenyatta
Interestingly, Former President Uhuru Kenyatta will find his allocations cut by Sh20 million as the fourth retired President, with significant reductions in vehicle maintenance and other asset management budgets.
State House Budget
Meanwhile, State House Nairobi is set to receive an additional Sh1.5 billion. This budget adjustment, with significant portions earmarked for hospitality supplies and services, also includes augmented allocations for both domestic and foreign travel budgets, as well as staff salaries.
First Lady Budget
In a similar vein, the offices of the State House Spokesperson and the First Lady will receive an extra Sh49.3 million and Sh295.7 million, respectively. On the flip side, the Office of the Spouse to the Deputy President will suffer an Sh31.9 million cut, primarily in the domain of domestic travel.
The creation of thirteen key offices within the presidency, as a result of the 1st Executive Order of 2023, has undeniably inflated governmental spending on wages and salaries. The national government overstepped its wage bill by almost Sh16.6 billion in the first nine months of the current financial year.
Such an expansive wage bill has incited concern over the new administration’s seeming contradiction. Initially pledging budget cuts to achieve fiscal consolidation, the government is now adding billions to top offices’ budgets.
Despite these concerns and struggles to rationalize the budget, the government maintains that it is committed to a fiscal consolidation path. National Treasury CS Prof. Njuguna Ndungu reassured MPs yesterday, stating that “improved revenue collection, primarily through the broadening of the tax base, and containing overall expenditure” would be the linchpins of Kenya’s debt sustainability efforts.