MPs postpone approval of Sh48.6 billion Budget

The overall supplementary Budget will increase by Sh48.6 billion once it is approved in its entirety.

MPs were on Thursday evening forced to postpone the approval of the Sh48.6 billion supplementary Budget after serious concerns were raised about an allocation of Sh2.5 billion to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and Sh300 million to the National Intelligence Service.

Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo led MPs, and eventually Speaker Justin Muturi, in questioning the allocations after Budget committee’s chairman Mutava Musyimi inserted the increases before the mini-Budget could be approved.

Mr Midiwo said the additional allocation for the NIS had not been handled by the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, of which he is a member. But Saku MP Dido Ali Rasso, pointed out that NIS request had been handled by the committee in the absence of Mr Midiwo.

Mr Musyimi said the allocation for the electoral commission was meant to buy ballot papers.

“I know no other way of doing this because ballots have to be printed, the law is what it is but that has to be done. Whenever the NIS comes to us asking for money, we have never said no, even when we have questions, because we don’t want to be in the way when there are sinister things that might be prevented,” argued Mr Musyimi.

DOUBLE ALLOCATION

But backed by MPs, Mr Muturi said the House risked approving a double allocation to the IEBC for the purchase of ballot papers.

“It is widely known in the country that a process had commenced. Did they start the process without the resources? If they started the process without knowing whether there are resources, then they were in breach of the law,” he said, referring to the law on public procurement.

Mr Mutava explained that the approval would allow the IEBC to use money from the National Treasury and then have it taken from its budget for the next financial year.

Majority Leader Aden Duale said what MPs would approve amounts to a commitment from the Treasury so that the preparations for the elections are not affected.

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