Treasury seeks to increase Raila Odinga’s travel allowances

By James Anyanzwa

Nairobi, Kenya: The National Treasury is seeking Parliament’s approval to increase the former Prime Minister’s allowances for foreign and domestic travels by Sh34 million.

In addition, Treasury has proposed to increase Raila Odinga’s allocations for fuel and lubricants by Sh9.6 million.

According to the Supplementary Budget tabled in Parliament last week, the Treasury chopped off personal allowances allocated for the Office by Sh2.64 million and reduced funds reserved as basic salaries for permanent employees by Sh490,020.

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These are part of expenditure reprioritisation programme, which seeks to free resources to finance the operations of the Government until the conclusion of the 2012/2013 fiscal year on June 30.

According to the 2012/2013 supplementary budget, Treasury cut personal allowances paid as part of salary in the office of the Prime Minister to Sh107.23 million from Sh109.87 million and reduced basic salaries for permanent employees to Sh106.57 million from Sh107.06 million.

These revelations come even as it emerged that Treasury has asked the National Assembly to approve the allocation of Sh700 million for the purchase of a building to house an office for retired President Mwai Kibaki.

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MPs are understood to have discovered the allocation as they questioned the failure by Treasury to allocate the Sh5.4 billion Constituency Development Fund (CDF) money for the remaining part of the 2012/2013 financial year.

The allocation for the building is tucked under development expenditure for the Cabinet Office in the supplementary budget estimates books. The Parliamentary Budget Office also noted the allocation of Sh700 million to the Cabinet office to buy a building as among the salient issues in its report on the supplementary estimates.

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In the initial estimates for the 2012/2013 financial year, the Cabinet office had asked for Sh160 million. This figure grew to Sh860 million in the Supplementary Budget and the Sh700 million difference would be the allocation for the retired president’s office.

Headed by Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia, the Cabinet office is charged with organising the affairs of the Cabinet such as meetings, the agenda and the implementation of its projects. Its primary mandate is to organise and coordinate Government business.

Kimemia said the Government has been looking for an office for the former president within Nairobi and all the available ones cost more than Sh1 billion.

When Raila needed an office, the Government acquired the then Shell/BP building at a cost of Sh700 million and then refurbished it. It is now the office of the Deputy President and other Government agencies.

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National Treasury Raila Odinga Mwai Kibaki