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Details of LSK President Faith Odhiambo's appointment by Ruto

President William Ruto appointed LSK President Faith Odhiambo on July 4

Law Society of Kenya President Faith Odhiambo

In a move to address the escalating public debt crisis, President William Ruto has issued Executive Order No. 4 of 2024, establishing a Presidential Taskforce on Forensic Audit of Public Debt which included LSK President Faith Odhiambo.

The announcement was made in a special issue of The Kenya Gazette, published on Friday July 7

The Executive Order highlights the pressing need for an in-depth forensic audit, given the alarming increase in Kenya's public debt, which now stands at Sh10 trillion, a five-fold rise from Sh2 trillion a decade ago.

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The burgeoning debt has become the single largest expenditure item, with interest payments alone surpassing the development expenditure of the National Government.

The taskforce is mandated to examine the stock of public and publicly guaranteed debt, reconcile loan proceeds with their intended appropriations, and assess the value obtained from these loans.

This move aims to ensure that all financial obligations are met with the utmost fiscal prudence and that future generations are not unduly burdened.

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The taskforce will be chaired by Nancy Onyango, with Prof Luis G. Franceschi serving as Vice-Chairperson.

The team comprises esteemed professionals including:

  • CPA Philip Kakaí, Chairperson, ICPAK
  • Faith Odhiambo, President, LSK
  • Shammah Kiteme (Eng.), President, IEK
  • Vincent Kimosop

Additionally, representatives from the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), Law Society of Kenya (LSK), and Institute of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) will be part of the taskforce. Abraham Rugo and Aaron Thegeya will serve as joint secretaries.

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The taskforce's terms of reference are comprehensive, focusing on several key areas:

Verification and Reconciliation:

  1. Verify the current stock of public debt.
  2. Reconcile the loan servicing/repayments with the relevant loan terms.
  3. Ensure loans were used for their intended purposes.
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Evaluation and Recommendations:

  1. Assess whether the country obtained value for money.
  2. Examine the return on investment and equity, including inter-generational equity.
  3. Recommend changes in the control environment to strengthen governance in public debt management.

Future Financial Strategies:

  1. Propose alternative sources of financing in light of the current debt burden and fiscal constraints.
  2. Develop a debt reorganisation plan.
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The taskforce is expected to engage with various stakeholders in the public finance sector, including industry players, associations, and lobby groups.

They are empowered to hold consultative sessions and public events to gather relevant information and views.

The taskforce will operate for an initial period of three months, with the possibility of an extension as specified by a notice in the Gazette. Their findings and recommendations will be reported directly to the President.

Government's Commitment

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This initiative reflects President Ruto's administration's resolve to enhance fiscal responsibility and ensure sustainable economic growth.

By establishing this taskforce, the government aims to address concerns from various quarters about the escalating public debt and its implications on national development.

As Kenya navigates through its fiscal challenges, this taskforce is expected to play a crucial role in restoring public confidence in the management of public finances and charting a sustainable path for the future.

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