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Blocked fuel cards, unpaid salaries & other ways State House is hurting Uhuru's office

The office of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta has raised concerns about the lack of support from the current government under President William Ruto.

Kanze Dena, the Secretary of Communications for the Office of Former President Uhuru Kenyatta
  • The office of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta raised concerns about lack of support from the current government under President William Ruto
  • Fuel cards used by the former president and former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta have been blocked since March 2023, forcing them to cover fuel expenses personally
  • The office has faced challenges in obtaining budget returns and transparency regarding the use of allocated funds

In a statement on June 10, Kanze Dena, the Secretary of Communications for the former president, highlighted several issues affecting their operations.

Kanze Dena revealed that the fuel cards used by both former President Kenyatta and former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta have been blocked since March 2023.

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This has forced them to cover fuel expenses out of their pockets. Despite repeated requests, the cards remain unusable.

Security officers attached to Mama Ngina were also recalled in July 2023 and have never been reinstated.

Kanze also said that some staffers have been receiving threats from unknown mobile numbers even at midnight.

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Dena detailed how the former president and the former first lady have been funding their offices from personal resources.

This includes fuelling cars, and maintaining vehicles. The cars currently in use are those that were used during Kenyatta's administration, and no new vehicles have been provided as mandated by the Presidents Benefits Act.

Additionally, State House has not renewed the contracts for key staff members, including Secretary of Communication Kanze Dena and Secretary of Administration George Kariuki.

As a result, the former president's office relies heavily on his personal funds and goodwill to continue operations.

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In the financial year 2022/2023, the office was allocated Sh655 million. However, only Sh28 million has been accessed, primarily for allowances related to domestic travel and two international trips.

This allocation did not cover salaries or medical insurance. For the financial year 2023/2024, the office was allocated Sh503 million, but there has been no access to these funds either.

This has left the office struggling to manage its operations with an accumulated budget deficit of nearly one billion shillings over two years.

Looking ahead, the budget allocation for 2024/2025 is set at Sh579 million. The office of the retired president is uncertain if these funds will be disbursed, given the previous issues.

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The office has also faced difficulties in obtaining budget returns from their accounting officer, the State House Comptroller Katoo Ole Metito.

Despite several requests, there has been no transparency regarding how the allocated funds have been used.

Kanze Dena stated that their office had no input in the budget estimates tabled in Parliament, which allocated Sh450 million for 2025/2026 and Sh475 million for 2026/2027.

The former president's office emphasised that after budget estimates are approved by Parliament, the funds are supposed to be disbursed through the Treasury to the accounting officers.

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However, this process has not been followed, forcing the office to operate without its rightful budget allocation.

Kanze also said that due to the unresponsiveness by State House, the former president was forced to convert servant quarters in his private home to offices.

She said that this was necessitated because of duties in the office of the former president were supposed to be handled immediately he left State House.

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The former State House spokesperson also disclosed that she and other staff members had not earned a salary in two years and have been relying on savings.

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