Following proposed budget revisions by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa, a clash between President Uhuru Kenyatta’s backers and those of his deputy Willam Ruto loomed in Parliament.
Ichung’wa wants the budgets for the President’s Office, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Defence slashed by Ksh50 billion.
“The Ministry of Trade and Industrialisation would grant Ksh50 billion to boost loan funding for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) adversely affected by the pandemic,”
“This will be funded through reallocations from the recurrent expenditures of the Office of the President, Ministry of Defense, and Ministry of Interior and National Government Coordination,” Ichung’wa recommended.
The new initiative by allied MPs of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) is considered as an attempt to adopt components of the bottom-up economic model before the next administration is formed.
Allies of Ruto want the money, dubbed the Hustler Fund, to help the DP’s chances of succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August 9 elections.
In addition, Ichungwa advocated adding more than Ksh300 billion to the State Department of Youth under the Ministry of Information, Communications, and Technology to strengthen the Youth Entrepreneurship Fund.
At a rally in Kiambu County on Friday, February 18, Ruto justified his partners’ decision, claiming that the majority of the budget scheduled to be presented to Parliament in June 2022 will fund the next administration.
He also chastised Uhuru’s government for stalling a massive budget, forcing Kenya to borrow from other countries and financial institutions. The budget for 2022/2023 is expected to cost more than Ksh3 trillion.
“Can I ask you a question? Isn’t this budget being prepared for the future government?” We have already begun drafting budget arrangements that will assist us in the new government,”
“The National Treasury should not borrow any further funds.” “The country already has too many debts,” he stressed.
The revisions proposed by Ichung’wa, on the other hand, were described as a UDA campaign plan. Kanini Kega, an ally of Uhuru, said that Ruto and his friends have ulterior intentions because some of their planned changes could have been enacted during the Jubilee administration’s first term.
“Ichungwa is the previous head of the National Assembly’s Budget Committee, and he is attempting to imply that they can create a budget that they believe will benefit them in 2022.” Why didn’t you do it when you were there?
“BBI recommended more funds to the counties, which you rejected. This is simply mischievous, and we are aware of it,” he remarked.