EDITORIAL: UhuRuto, lead by example

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Presidency is failing to adhere to its measures to cut government expenditure in the face of rising public debt.

Latest data from the Controller of Budget shows that President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto increased their travel expenses in the six months to December 2019 by 62.4 percent to Sh575.5 million.

The Presidency’s foreign travels usually see large delegations, including security detail and senior State officials, who draw hefty sums in travel allowances.

Austerity measures the Treasury announced are meant to cut non-essential spending, which includes the foreign trips, to stem rising recurrent expenditure that has forced the country to seek costly loans. The debt to gross domestic product ratio has risen past the 60 percent mark, raising concerns of default given the strain on the economy, which is worsening in the wake of coronavirus.

While State House argues that the trips are meant to attract foreign investments, such arguments need to be backed by data showing how we have gained from the globetrotting in terms of exports and job creation.


Otherwise, too much travel with too little returns only weighs down already burdened taxpayers. Good leaders lead by example. The Presidency needs to stem its non-essential costs.