advertisement
Economy

Uhuru disbands Sh2.5bn budget team for Kenya golden fete

President Kenyatta poses with Kenya Athletics team captain Julius Yego at State House, Nairobi August 2, 2013. The team will compete in the IAAF World Athletics Championship in Moscow. The President  has dissolved the committee that proposed a Sh2.5bn budget for celebrations to mark 50 years of Kenya's independence. MOHAMMED AMIN
President Kenyatta poses with Kenya Athletics team captain Julius Yego at State House, Nairobi August 2, 2013. The team will compete in the IAAF World Athletics Championship in Moscow. The President has dissolved the committee that proposed a Sh2.5bn budget for celebrations to mark 50 years of Kenya's independence. MOHAMMED AMIN 

President Kenyatta has dissolved the committee that proposed a Sh2.5bn budget for celebrations to mark 50 years of Kenya's independence.

He said the team was "out of touch" with the prevailing financial mood in government that called for frugal use of resources.

"By suggesting such an astronomical expenditure on celebrations, the committee clearly showed itself to be out of touch with the financial mood in government," said President Kenyatta in a statement Friday.

The President acknowledged that 50 years of independence was a watershed event in Kenya's calendar but stressed that such celebrations should be tempered with prudent use of funds.

"Fifty years of “Uhuru” is an important landmark in the national calendar and offers occasion to reflect on how far we have come and the challenges that lie ahead in terms of our shared commitment to grow our country and
spread prosperity to all.

advertisement

"But celebrations should and must be done within the context of a frugal government sensitive to the difficult economic conditions that currently prevail around the globe," he said.

President Kenyatta said his government has "consistently and persistently called for prudence in the management of
our country’s financial resources" maintaining that the presidency will oversee the fresh plans to mark the momentous occasion.

A new team would be appointed in due course, the President said.

"It (new committee) will have strong representation from the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts, which has expertise in this area, and will include other stakeholders, such as the private sector. State House will provide oversight," President Kenyatta said.

The organising committee's budgetary proposals revealed lavish spending on activities and projects such as billboards, statues and entertainment for the golden jubilee to be held on the second week of December.

Kibaki bronze statue

The budget included Sh50 million for erecting a bronze statue of retired President Kibaki hoisting aloft a copy of the Constitution during its promulgation on August 27, 2010. 

Other budgeted items were: Sh690 million for events management and logistics, Sh286 million for conference and exhibition during the one week celebration, Sh300 million for publicity and communication, Sh365 million for entertainment and a handsome Sh320 million to go towards identifying Kenya’s most prominent personalities.

"The budget has not been finalised yet, but I expected it on Thursday July 25. The plan is that the government should not fund it alone. We want the private sector and other stakeholders to take part.

This is everybody’s business, and we want all to take part. However, I’ve instructed the committee that I don’t want to see a budget that is too large,” said Interior and Coordination of National Government Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo, who chaired the committee.

A Sh338 million budget for security, protocol and hospitality will go towards catering for at least 40 heads of state and government expected to attend the occasion. This will include five-star hotel accommodation, transport, meals and security for the two days they are expected to spend in the country.

The budget will also cater for invited heads of international organisations such as the African Union, Comesa, East African Community, Igad and others.

advertisement