Explain Sh800m in DP secret spending

Friday, May 17th, 2024 06:00 | By
Deputy president Rigathi Gachagua withy Lands CS Alice Wahome at his Karen residence recently.
Deputy president Rigathi Gachagua withy Lands CS Alice Wahome at his Karen residence recently. PHOTO/Print

Questions are being raised about the obscene Sh800 million budget for the Office of the Deputy President disguised as “confidential spending” at a time Kenyans are dying in floods and of hunger.

For law enforcement agencies, confidential funds are set aside in the budget for expenses that involve surveillance and intelligence gathering operations.

Though Kenyans need to know how their taxes are spent, the allocations are usually not subjected to standard auditing rules as they are thought to be assigned to sensitive security matters. The specific expenses cannot be explained in the open.

Some confidential spending, like paying informers without revealing their identities, can be justified on security grounds because they could cause political embarrassment, or to enable officials to perform some of their duties without tipping off foreign states or criminals.

The money can also be used for confidential activities like maintaining safe houses, buying items for operations that cannot be done through regular procedures without compromising the process, and other covert and semi-covert operations.

The office of the DP is seeking Sh800 million under the confidential budget in addition to other luxuries such as buying medals and cars.

It has been argued that though the DP’s office is not a security agency, some expenses can be incurred under this budget. There are also other offices whose state security is not directly part of their mandate. Kenyans are, however, concerned about the allocation of Sh800 million to an office that will not be audited.

Not many state officials are known for probity in managing public funds. We fear that such allocations can be a safe and legal way for corrupt officials to siphon public funds by members of a government that wears avarice as a stripe of honour.

It is unconscionable that government officials are allocating cash for entertainment and honours for the devil knows who. It is a well-known fact that such questionable allocations are used for dirty political activities such as bribery and other clandestine operations associated with the Kanu era.

The Constitution that Gachagua swore to defend and protect demands transparency in the use of public funds, not opaqueness coated in confidentiality.

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