It was in the last financial year 2008/09 that an extra $120 million was mysteriously or mistakenly added to a supplementary budget, something Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta blamed on a ‘typing error’. Well another day in The Treasury and another typing error. MPs have raised suspicions that there seems to be a mysterious 5 billion shillings allocation in the budget presented by Uhuru Kenyatta in early June.
MPs were concerned that 2 billion shillings had been set aside for unspecified activities in the Finance ministry while a further Sh3 billion has been allocated to the National Security Intelligence Service although it had not been requested. The Treasury listed the Sh2 billion as “budget reserves” in spite of the existence of an additional Sh2 billion allocated for “miscellaneous use”.
According to Mr. Uhuru’s spokesman, Munyori Buku, the funds are for contingency, disasters and emergency. “There is no money that hangs in the Budget because it would not balance, even in a school budget. If such funds are not there, then you will have to re-allocate funds from other ministries when emergency strikes. This will take such a long time that it will not be an emergency.”
Initially The Treasury allegedly gave the NSIS a ceiling of Sh10.3 billion for its budget, however the spy agency was suddenly allocated a further Sh3 billion. The Defense committee chairman Aden Keynan however dismissed queries on the NSIS budget: “There is nothing controversial in the allocation. We have seen their budget together with the Committee on National Security and we have seen no reason to be suspicious”, he said.
MPs in the parliamentary Budget committee are currently scrutinizing the financial allocations for 2011/12 made by the finance minister and have earmarked close to Sh12 billion from the current budget for re-allocation into areas previously ignored by the Treasury.
Sectors set to benefit from the budget review include education with the hiring of 28,500 teachers (including the 18,500 teachers recruited last year on contract), the Albino community who will get Sh250 million and extra funds for cancer drugs and equipment, the Rural Electrification Authority and the Kenya Land Registry for computerisation, Sh3.5 billion to be channeled to the Equalization Fund, and The National Strategic Grain Reserves will benefit from an additional Sh4 billion to cushion against famine while Sh800 million will fund procurement of seeds for farmers.
We can only hope that this time round there will be no more spelling or typing errors. The figures must up and the funds delivered to the shilling as allocated.