Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Waste in Kimunya's Budget

The men and women we elected to the tenth parliament do not seem to have the capacity to read, digest and debate the budget proposals that Kimunya tabled before them last week. Not one of them is taking Kimunya to task for the inevitable waste of billions that will take place when they pass the expenditure proposals without as much a as shift in a comma. And yet the law requires that if they are not through with this parody of a debate before end of this week, then half of the Ksh 760 billion budget will automatically be passed to him to spend. What, pray tell, are the changes that these people plan to bring about to ‘the management of public affairs’ when they go about house business so sloppily as to entrench the impunity that they yap against with boring repetition?

It is quite obvious from the dissonant noises they are making in and out of the House that the single item from the entire budget that has caught their attention is the proposed taxation of their unjustifiably high allowances. I actually think that if Kimunya hadn’t mentioned it in his speech but instead tuck it somewhere in the supplementary documents, it would have passed without as much as a hiss! While the rest of the country has for years been unequivocal about the issue of MP’s taxation, they still opt to squander national time in foolish arguments instead of engaging Kimunya on why he continues to fund sheer wastefulness in government. Perhaps in the knowledge of the queer reading habits of his colleagues, Kimunya has quite shamelessly spelt out in his documents various expenditure items that immediately rankle a discerning citizen. It is even possible that his speech highlights (zero rating bread and taxing MPs) were really just a devious prank in diverting members’ attention to unproductive racket while passing the tucked items of extravagance without hitch.

Unfortunately for them, the documents are not top secret even though the MPs reckless ignorance propagates the non-transparent exclusivity of the budgeting process. So far only Kimunya’s speech has been publicized but some resourceful citizens have accessed the supplementary documents whose analysis they are able to disseminate and promote awareness to all. Highlights of the waste;

  • Ksh 2 billion for foreign travel, about Ksh 5.5million for every day of the year!
  • Ksh 2.6 billion for purchasing cars. The government owns 10,395 cars with 149 of them assigned to State House.
  • Ksh 2.5 billion for entertainment including Ksh 280 million by the Ministry of Finance alone.
  • Ksh 2 billion for commercial printing. Last year it overshot this by spending Ksh 6.2 billion. Revenue from the official Government Printer was Ksh 100, 000 only!
  • Ksh 900 million for servicing loan towards the non-existent Mombasa KenRen fertilizer plant.
  • Ksh 4.9 billion for servicing loan towards the controversial Navy ship. More than the budget for Ministry of Water!

And on and on it goes… funding all manner of projects some of which are even conceived at whim for purposes of playing politics like the proposed constituency football. These expenditures are indefensible and reek of corruption conduits for which members of the House need to rise up against if they are worth the honor.

Is Raila Odinga, through collective irresponsibility, accepting this profligacy for the sake of ‘reconciliation and national healing and making the Grand Coalition Government work’? Will Ababu Namwamba and his motley crew of Grand Oppositionists show that they are up to the challenge and vote against these reckless proposals? Or are they also rebels without a cause? At least Kimunya has made it clear that he has nothing new to bring to the table and is stubbornly for the status quo. Do any of the other fellows know what is going on around them?!

No comments:

Post a Comment