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Matiang'i dealt blow by parliament

This will be the first time Matiang'i's plans could be rejected by parliament.

The Security and National Administration Committee of the National Assembly led by Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange, queried Dr Fred Matiang'i's first budget requirement which shot to Sh4 billion for the exercise, while his full budget bulged to over Sh 190 billion, above the Treasury's recommendation of Sh130 bilion.

The committee argued that Kenya at this time already had surpassed the UN’s target ratio of one officer to 450 civilians, meaning that Dr Matiang’i’s first ever budget as Interior CS may be quashed by parliament.

“If it is true that at the moment our ratio stands at 1:400. It means that you do not need to recruit more officers, we could re-allocate the Sh4 billion that you have factored for this,” Kitui Central lawmaker Mr Makali Mulu said in parliament.

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However, the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet would later defend CS Matiang’i, arguing that the regular police recruitment exercises were in the interest of replacing officers who may have died or left service for any other reason.

Dr Matiang’i had proposed a budget of Sh 192.31 billion, way above the Treasury’s proposal of Sh130.87 billion, and he said the money would be spent on generating new digital identity cards, buying 10,000 motorcycles for chiefs, among other amenities for the officers

Other priorities would include recruitment of 20,000 new police officers, construction of 20,000 housing units for the officers, expansion of eight training schools, putting up of 54 offices for national government administration officers, and acquisition of modern printing equipment.

Critical ministries

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The Interior CS and his Transport counterpart James Macharia are emerging as the critical ministries which are set for huge financial allocations, going by the Big Four agenda proposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in his final term.

Mr Macharia's Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development is one of the largest in Kenyatta's administration, while Matiang’i commands the administrative machine that will coordinate and ensure implementation of the Big Four agenda.

The two ministries would consume a huge amount of budgetary money amounting to nearly Sh500 billion in governments spending in the 2018/19 financial year. This is according to the Budget Policy Statement which is now before Parliament.

The two ministries are also among those that Uhuru expects to steer his 'Big Four' economic agenda intended to cement his legacy.

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