President Uhuru Kenyatta with his Deputy President William Ruto at JKIA. (Photo: Courtesy)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking an additional Sh1.58 billion for President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto’s trips.
Foreign travel for the country’s top two leaders will eat into the ministry’s headquarters expenditure of Sh4.57 billion in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, representing 35 per cent of the total allocation.
According to budget estimates presented by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to the Parliamentary Defence and Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, Sh1 billion will be used by Uhuru while the rest will cater for the DP’s travel.
“For the State visit of the President, we require an additional Sh1 billion. An average trip costs Sh50 million and we have a conservative estimate of 10 additional visits, as there will be validation visits after the elections,” said the CS.
“The Deputy President’s visits will cost Sh500 million. In the past, we had to charter a plane to cater for the DP’s visit abroad,” she added.
Subscriptions to international organisations will gobble up the bulk of the ministry’s headquarters budget, with Sh1.95 billion (43 per cent) of the total allocation being spent.
At the same time, the ministry, according to the CS, requires an additional Sh200 million that will go to confidential expenditure of the Head of State, his deputy, the First Lady, Cabinet and principal secretaries.
“The President, the DP, the First Lady, the CS and PS are occasionally required to incur confidential expenditure funded by the ministry with a view to softly influencing opinion and decision support towards Kenya’s interests in their diplomatic undertakings,” explained Amina.
“This funding was inadvertently removed from the ministry’s vote in the last financial year and should be reinstated with a budget of Sh200 million,” she told members of the committee led by Tetu MP Ndung’u Gethenji.