Treasury asks MPs to approve Sh9.9b for fresh presidential poll

Treasury CS Henry Rotich
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich. Photo/Profile

The National Treasury has requested lawmakers to approve a Supplementary Budget allocation of Ksh9.955 billion for the fresh presidential election slated for October 26 and an additional Ksh24.8 billion for free secondary school education.

In the new estimates tabled in the National Assembly, the fresh presidential poll will take the lion’s share while free secondary school education which Jubilee administration plans to roll out from January next year will get Sh24.8 billion.

Enhancement of security operations will be allocated Ksh2.6 billion from the Supplementary Budget estimates.

The Sh9.9 billion for the repeat poll is Sh2.1 billion less the amount Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had initially requested Treasury for conducting the Supreme Court ordered poll.

Treasury CS Henry Rotich in his Budget Estimates said government has been forced to make changes in the 2017/18 budget due to what he termed as “unforeseen challenges with huge financial implications.”

“These include but not limited to prolonged drought, insecurity, implementation of agreed CBAs, a repeat of presidential election and shortfall in revenue collection occasioned by prevailing business environment,” CS Rotich said.

He also said that the economy has not generated new resources to finance the emerging needs, hence, the decision to reorganize the planned expenditures.

In the last election, IEBC spent Sh42 billion, but it was still indicted by the Supreme Court for having failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the Constitution.

The Commission which is fighting with time to prepare for the polls will now have to adjust its budget to fit in to the latest budget which Parliamentarians are expected to debate and approve.

The proposed IEBC budget has listed enhancement of electoral technology, polling officials’ wages, election materials including ballot papers and transport as necessities that will consume the bulk of the cash.

The electoral agency has set aside Sh1.49 billion for what it terms as enhancement of technology, Sh2.39 billion for polling officials’ wages, and Sh1.9 billion for transport at the county levels.

Sh1.3 billion would be spent on acquisition of election materials, including ballot papers, Sh2.9 billion on training of polling officials and hire of equipment during training, while Sh214 million have been earmarked as tallying centre expenses.

Last week on Friday, Cabinet chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta approved Sh25 billion to carter for free secondary education starting January next year.

Free secondary education was one of Jubilee’s campaign pillars. According to the government, close to 1 million students are expected to join form one in public schools next year.

Rotich said the overall cumulative changes to be made in the Supplementary Estimates amounts to Sh22.3 billion, representing 0.8 percent of the original budget.

“Taking into the account that there are cases where the changes are more than 10 percent in individual programmes, we are requesting for special approval of the expenditures which are beyond this threshold,” he said.

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Story By Vincent Afande
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