How Treasury spent Sh23 billion in Uhuru's final days as president

This comes after revelations that the Treasury had a balance of about Sh93 million at the end of August 2022.

President Uhuru Kenyatta during his last interview as head of state where he hosted stations that broadcast in vernacular at State House.

Documents in Parliament have revealed that the National Treasury evoked Article 223 of the Constitution to spend Sh23 billion without the approval of Parliament.

The law allows the National Treasury to spend money without approval if the house is not sitting during the time contemplated or adjourns before the approval has been sought.

The 12th Parliament’s term ended on July 9, 2022.

Towards, the end of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s term, Treasury spent Sh2.2 billion on building a military research hospital, Sh9.45 billion on road construction, Sh4.5 billion on the maize subsidy, Sh810 on State House operations and Sh6 billion sent to Telkom Kenya.

To comply with the Constitution, the Treasury now requests that Parliament authorise the money that was paid.

Already, the Treasury has invoked Article 223 of the Constitution that allows them to spend money without the approval of Parliament. They have approved the withdrawal of Sh45.67 billion out of which Sh23 billion has been paid out.

This is coming just two months into the new financial year. They now want Parliament to regularise the expenditure including salaries which is not an unforeseen expenditure,” said Martin Masinde, the acting director of the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO).

Article 223 of the Constitution required that Treasury tables the expenditure two months after spending money without the approval of Parliament.

Masinde termed the expenses incurred by the national government as an abuse of the law.

This Article of the Constitution has been abused by the Treasury. What happens now is that the Treasury withdraws money to fund what is not budgeted and comes to Parliament to rubberstamp the expenditure?” he posed.

This comes after revelations that the Treasury had a balance of about Sh93 million at the end of August 2022, with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua claiming that they have inherited a broke government.

While answering questions at the induction of the 13th Parliament, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge clarified reports that the government was broke.

"The government is required to public the cash flow every month. The point is that it shows how much came in, how much was spent and how much remained," the CBK governor explained.

He added: "The fact that it is Sh93 million in my case is neither here nor there because there may be expenditures that were needed that were maybe held back in terms of pending bills. This table doesn't give you a complete picture but I think it tells you that the government had certain expenditures, it got certain flows including loans and it paid those expeditures and the balance was the Sh93 million."

Governor Njoroge also explained why many Kenyans are struggling to make ends meet despite the country’s economy registering growth in the gross domestic product (GDP).

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