Investigate Nyakang'o's claims against Treasury

Controller of Budget, Margaret Nyakang'o during Raila-Ruto bipartisan talks at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi on October 31, 2023. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The National Treasury is the country’s heartbeat. If it falters, the country staggers. Military precision is what is required to manage a people’s taxes and plan for the country’s budget. This, however, seems the exact opposite of what is happening, if what the Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang'o said on Tuesday holds water.

Dr Nyakang'o, speaking before the National Dialogue Committee at Bomas of Kenya, said that salaries of State officers are inflated by three times in the budget. This makes one wonder the intention of such a move and what happens to the extra money once the budget is approved.

The CoB further said that many of the loans taken by the government, including those taken last year, had ambiguous definitions.

She added that the National Treasury could not provide a clear account of projects to which loans were allocated. This situation prompted her to question the Treasury about the budget’s excessive estimates.

Regrettably, she noted that she had not received a satisfactory response regarding this budgeting discrepancy, raising concerns about the accuracy of budgetary figures in various areas. She said the country’s excessive borrowing practices and expenditure patterns had contributed to the current financial crisis.

She proposed a review of various areas for budget cuts, which included domestic and international travel expenses, refurbishments and fuel consumption.

Ms Nyakag'o is a senior government official and has said there is a problem at the Treasury. The least Kenyans expect and deserve is a thorough investigation. A forensic audit in the ministry is what can expose the extent of the dealings therein. If Nyakang'o's suspicions are confirmed, those culpable should brought to book.

Wastage and monkey business should not be tolerated at this time when millions of Kenyans are suffering due to the hard economic times. Treasury must account for every shilling.