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Kenya Association of Manufacturers raps State over wasteful expenses

By Winsley Masese | November 27th 2013
Ms Betty Maina, KAM Chief Executive Officer [Photo: File/Standard]

By Winsley Masese

Nairobi, Kenya: The huge allowances paid to senior Government officials as sitting allowances or emoluments has been blamed for creating inequality and an unjust system in the country.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Chief Executive Betty Maina said that focusing on facilitation and emoluments is hurting the economy and the country’s development agenda.

“This is not a sustainable way of using public resources.  The money should be used to develop infrastructure and reduce inequality in the country,” she stated.

Maina termed some of the efforts made towards accelerating economic growth and reduce the glaring inequality as cosmetic.

“Resource allocation towards some critical sectors of the economy is fundamental as opposed to emoluments,” she observed.

Speaking during the launch of a report: Exploring Kenya’s Inequality, Pulling Apart or Pooling Together? Maina called for the need to address tax regimes which are likely to widen the already glaring inequality gap in the country.

Nominated Member of Parliament Alex Mwaura decried the duplication of roles by various ministries, citing it as a possible leakage of government revenue.

“There is a fragmentation of government projects and the way the government is spending the money is worrying,” he said.

He pointed to a possible duplication of roles by various ministries on issues that touch on youth unemployment.

Mwaura echoed Maina’s sentiments that the amount of allowances and emoluments paid to government officials are out of this world. 

“The Government is struggling with the recurrent and development expenditure and the allowances paid create inequality,” he stated.

Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution Commissioner Peter Wanyande said the challenge facing the country is either the failure or reluctance by the country’s institutions to come up with data that informs policy implementation.

The findings

“Other institutions have to play their role by implementing the findings as recommended in the report,” Wanyande said.

He said that every Kenyan should see themselves as a leader and move to play their rightful roles. He underscored the role of leveling the playing ground for each Kenyan as a prerequisite to participating fully in the new constitutional dispensation.

“If we reduce inequality, the citizens will feel empowered in the implementation of the Constitution,” Wanyande added.

He added that a poor man would only be concerned about where to get food and not matters touching on the Constitution, a development that might see the exercise to implement the country’s new set of laws take a back seat.

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