Cabinet on Thursday approved Sh10 billion budget to facilitate preparation for the repeat presidential election now slated for October 26.
The amount is less by about Sh2 billion given that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had requested for Sh12.2billion to preside over the polls following the nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win by the Supreme Court earlier in the month.
“Cabinet today approved an allocation of Sh10 billion to cover these repeat Presidential elections. This allocation was based on a proposed budget submitted by the electoral agency IEBC,” a dispatch by the State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu read.
IEBC on Thursday shifted the poll date from October 17.
Earlier, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich had projected that the election would cost more than Sh15 billion when ‘related activities, largely security measures, are factored in’.
Given that the repeat poll was not planned for at the beginning of the fiscal year starting June, some of the development projects earlier earmarked for completion will have to take a back seat as the supplementary budget is presented to the National Assembly on Tuesday for approval.
“Cabinet decided to reorganise planned expenditures for 2017/18 fiscal year, in line with Article 223 of the Constitution and Section 44 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), 2012 in order to meet the obligations wrought by the new priorities,” Mr Manoah said.
He said the president chaired the meeting, which was also attended by his Deputy William Ruto, and all Cabinet Secretaries, except CS Foreign Affairs Amina Mohamed, who is leading Kenya’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The Cabinet at the same time approved a further Sh25 billion towards free secondary education starting January. This has been one of Mr Kenyatta’s campaign pledges which can only take effect should he win in the elections.
“Requisite infrastructure will be provided through government initiative that leads to 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school,” his spokesman said.
Mr Manoah said in 2018, the Form One intake will cater for 1,003,552 learners sitting their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education this year.
“Of this 903,200 will join public schools, while 100,322 will join private ones,” he added projecting an influx of learners in public schools.
On social protection, some Sh6.5 billion was also allocated to cover the enhanced Inua Jamii programme under, which Kenyans aged 70 and above are entitled to a monthly stipend.
The thorny matter of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) which has refused to fade away since the post-election violence of 2007/08 was also in the agenda with Sh1.9 billion being set aside to settle those still staying in camps.
Preparations for hosting the African Nations Championships (CHAN) also got a shot in the arm after a budget of Sh4.2 billion was also sanctioned.