Taxpayers spent an extra Sh130 million on the swearing-in ceremony of President William Ruto, a report tabled in Parliament shows.
The Assumption of Office Committee, which planned the transfer of power from former President Uhuru Kenyatta to Dr Ruto said it spent a total of Sh330.7 million on the ceremony.
The Treasury had initially budgeted Sh200 million for the ceremony of Dr Ruto after the Supreme Court upheld his election victory in September.
The committee said Dr Ruto, who was sworn in on September 13, had set a budgetary ceiling of Sh250 million for all the State events, marking the inauguration of Kenya’s fifth administration.
“However, on account of an unprecedented number of Heads of State and government and other high-level State foreign delegations that were attending the State ceremonies, the committee’s budget was reviewed upwards with the concurrence of President-elect to Sh330,714,647,” the committee said in a report to Parliament.
Out of the budget for the inauguration of Dr Ruto, the Office of the President spent Sh172.44 million, Foreign Affairs (Sh55.2 million), State Department for Sports (Sh9.4 million), Interior (Sh35.2 million) and State Department for Culture and Heritage (Sh26.9 million). Others are the State Department for Broadcasting (Sh27.5 million), State Department for ICT (Sh2 million) and the Judiciary (Sh2 million).
“The budget for the executive office of the President was appropriated towards the fabrication and set up of the presidential dais and pavilion, the inauguration arena VVIPs dais, VIP dais that held over 3,000 persons and all the other ancillary décor and fixtures including additional screens as well as defraying the cost of hosting the state luncheon at State House,” the report states.
The Assumption of Office Committee said the State luncheon in Nairobi was attended by an estimated 7,000 guests including some of the 19 Heads of State present at Dr Ruto’s swearing-in at Moi Sports Centre, Kasarani.