Political Partisanship will never fill the 9.2 billion gaping hole in the supplementary budget!

“Yes, there may be a typing error but that to me may not be any cause for alarm”. – Uhuru Kenyatta, Minister of Finance, quoted in the Standard May 9th 2009.

It was only two months ago when we posited that if the government of Kenya was a business, it would have collapsed ages ago. Well, last week’s proceedings in parliament brought to light that 9.2 billion Kenya shillings was unaccounted for in the 2008/09 supplementary budget tabled in parliament by Minister of Finance Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta.

Blaming it on “computer error” the Minister was quoted in Thursday’s Standard as saying “Yes, there may be a typing error but that to me may not be any cause for alarm”.

As House Speaker Hon. Kenneth Marende said when directing that the matter be investigated by the joint parliamentary committees for finance and budgeting, 9billion is a “mind-boggling” amount let alone 1 billion.

Mr. Speaker: Order! Order, hon. Members! Order, Mr. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance! Do not fault the Speaker from your seat.

This is a matter that on the face of it is grave. A figure of anything near Kshs9 billion, let alone Kshs1 billion, is mind boggling. This matter is now in the public domain. Kenyans are entitled to know what the truthful and correct position is. In those circumstances, therefore, I will refer this matter to the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade to inquire into and report to this House on whether or not there are any inconsistencies that, perhaps, indicate that public funds have been misapplied.

That is the order of the Chair. I want hon. Members to note. Mr. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, please note, that because this matter is in the public domain, Kenyans are entitled to know. This direction does not in any way encumber the House from proceeding with business on the Supplementary Estimates, not in any way whatsoever. – Parliamentary Hansard, Wednesday 6th May 2009.

However, to the steward of our national resources, Uhuru Kenyatta that amount is merely “not any cause for alarm”!.

This utter negligence and unrepentant attitude is what is crushing Kenya today under debt and further making it difficult for entrepreneurs to either startup and/or effectively manage their enterprises. As small business owners, we are sure that if our accounting officer caused even a minor “typing error” amounting to Kshs. 1million, most of us would have promptly sacked them, if not called in the CID.

It was commendable that finally the business community is standing up to voice their opinions on budgetary issues. For instance as reported in the Sunday Standard, groups such as the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast Branch urged the Kenya Private Sector Alliance to “take the government to task” over the issue. We also hope that other associations, federations and even individual entrepreneurs make their stand on the opinion known.

However, what emerged over the weekend at a function in President Kibaki’s constituency Othaya was even more alarming. Kenyatta now seems intent on not only blaming the computers in Treasury, but also on casting aspersions on whomever he considers as his “political enemies”. His utterances like his ministerial statement on Wednesday and retorts thereafter are very telling probably about his character. First in parliament he cast aspersions on Hon. Gitobu Imanyara and then his so-called “advisers” Mars Group who attracted even more vitriol.

Now the Minister is blaming ODM and the media for his travails. We have to wonder who will be next…

This time we CANNOT sit back and watch the circus that always results in scandals being brought to light and then promptly being forgotten. As entrepreneurs we are the main drivers of the economy. It is OUR tax money that has been fiddled with. It is OUR businesses that will face higher taxes if the government can’t raise enough funds to operate.

It is OUR time NOW to ask for accountability, not only from Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta and the Treasury, but also from our members of parliament who passed the supplementary budget without even verifying the veracity of what was tabled in the esteemed House.

That is our stand at Yipe.org. What is yours?

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About yipe
Yipe an acronym for the Youth Interactive Portal for Enterprise is an organization that assists entrepreneurs to start up and manage their small businesses.

3 Responses to Political Partisanship will never fill the 9.2 billion gaping hole in the supplementary budget!

  1. KenyaLuv says:

    What about Raila Odinga’s family maize scandal which may have caused untold suffering and hunger, why didnt you write a blog post about that? why has the media and the blogs been quiet about that scandal…lets not be selective.

  2. yipe says:

    KenyaLuv,

    Thank you for your comment. However, if you cared to Google “Raila and maize”, I am sure you will find numerous blogs written on that scam. Here are just a few:

    1. Kenyansunited.com | Maize Scandal: Raila Family Speaks 2/05/09
    2. Msemakweli: Raila and Corruption : Thirsting for Justice
    3. Fidel Odinga criminal records exposed « The Nairobi Chronicle
    4. Has the poisonous maize gone missing? « KenyaCurrent
    5. A View From The Cave: Thank You Anonymous Person
    6. You Missed This: This Is Not About Uhuru, Its About A Contemptuous …
    7. Tingisa This Week: The PNU Inspired ‘Maize Scandal’

    Please note that the maize scandal doesn’t implicate Raila Odinga personally, only members of his immediate family. So that does not justify another blog post, merely only to add to the list above.

    Kenyaluv, what we suggest is that if YOU have anything to say on the maize scandal then most certainly blog about it, instead of waiting for Yipe.org to do it on your behalf.

  3. Pingback: » Kenya president appoints key ally as finance minister in Cab Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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