President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto spent Sh1.18 billion on parties and receptions, in the last nine months to March; a Sh422 million increase from the last similar period.
According to Business Daily, data obtained from the Controller of budget shows that the presidency, which comprises both President Kenyatta’s and DP Ruto’s office, increased the spending by 55.6 percent compared to the Sh758.2 million spent in a similar period last year.
The Treasury announced new austerity measures in September last year on advertising, trips and training as the State moved to limit the misuse of taxpayers’ funds. Among the measures was a directive to the government agencies to purchase only locally manufactured furniture fittings.
The entertainment budget increase demonstrates that the various arms of government are yet to adhere with the calls by the President and the treasury to cut down on non-essential expenditure, as the state seeks to free up funds for development and essential services such as education and health.
The data also showed that Hospitality Expenditure for 71 ministries, State departments and agencies (MDAs) increased to Sh4.5 billion, an 18 percent increase from the Sh3.8 billion spent a year before.
The Presidency’s Sh1.18 billion entertainment budget accounted for a quarter of the Sh4.5 billion spent by public offices on parties and receptions.
Data also showed other top spenders including the Interior Ministry at Sh900.2 million, a drop from Sh1.08 billion spent in the previous similar period.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs entertainment budget increased by 69 percent to Sh604.4 million from Sh357 million at the previous period.
The 2019/2020 budget revealed that the Kenya Revenue Authority had missed its tax collection target signifying a huge task ahead. The Tax collector posted a flat growth within the first three months of 2020, even before the crisis brought about by the Corona virus pandemic.