Uhuruto splashed Sh1.73 billion on parties and receptions last year alone

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy are among the most extravagant government officials, according to the Controller of Budget.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, are among the most extravagant government officials, according to the Controller of Budget report.

The two top the list of government officials who blew more than Sh5.7 billion ($55m) on entertainment in the year ended June.

The Presidency —which comprises the offices of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto — spent a whooping Sh1.73 billion ($16m) on hospitality in the 2016/17 fiscal year compared to 1.41 billion ($13m) during in 2015/16 fiscal year.

This amounted to 30.1 per cent of the Sh5.75 billion  that public offices splashed on parties and receptions in the 2016/17 fiscal year.

This is despite the Jubilee administration in early 2014 led by the duo announcing tight austerity programme which included pay cuts for top officials, lower entertainment expenditure and curb in trips expenditure with only essential international travel allowed.

In a country struggling with drought, high cost of living, joblessness and huge public debt you would think the government would go slow on spending.

The hospitality spending curve has been on an upward trend since 2014,  the curve has jumped by Sh1.8 billion ($17m) since 2014, representing a 45.5 per cent growth since the onset of devolution.

The Budget report shows by comparison, the 49 other government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) spent a total of Sh4.02 billion ($38m) during the period.

Kenyan Taxpayers paid Sh514 million ($4.9m) more on hospitality in the year, up from Sh5.23 billion ($50m) in the previous year, reflecting defiance to austerity measures ordered by the Treasury.

Besides the Presidency, other top spenders include Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Sh496 million) Parliament (Sh482 million), Sports ministry (Sh436 million) and the Treasury (Sh370.6 million).

However, Treasury, Foreign Affairs and Parliament are among the top spenders that cut their entertainment spent in their year to June compared the previous period.

Treasury’s entertainment expenditure dropped by Sh112 million, Foreign Affairs (Sh73.2 million) and Parliament (Sh47 million).

That of Presidency and Sports ministry however rose by Sh320 million ($3m) and Sh270 million ($2.6m)respectively.

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