Wednesday, May 27, 2009



May 25 2009

Lobby group claims budget passed by MPs last Thursday also has a Sh10 billion hole

The government was on Monday headed for more embarrassment after a lobby group wrote to Parliament pointing out fresh errors in the supplementary budget approved by MPs only last week.

The group is demanding thorough investigations into the budget before the main Budget is read next month.

Last month, Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta had to withdraw the supplementary budget after the same NGO, Mars Group, pointed out mistakes amounting to Sh10 billion.

Typing errors

The minister said they were typing errors, an explanation accepted by the House.

Now Mars Group is questioning the new figures and has asked Parliament to apply pressure on the government to audit the new supplementary budget.

The group on Monday accused the Treasury of “cooking” the figures and prepared a memorandum outlining its allegations.

Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua later said the government had “noted” and was “studying” the Mars Group claims.

Mr Kenyatta and Finance permanent secretary Joseph Kinyua could not be reached the whole day and were said to be going over the figures afresh.

Mars Group claimed an analysis of the new supplementary budget raised serious concerns, which require further investigation as part of a forensic audit.

The group claims that the Treasury changed portions of the government book to balance the figures while leaving the total amount it was requesting intact.

“The Independent Forensic Audit as recommended by the Joint Committee Report should be formed to commence its work immediately and should complete its report ahead of the National Budget 2009-10, in order to restore public confidence in the budget books of the Ministry of Finance,” Mars Group director Mwalimu Mati said on Monday.

The chairman of the parliamentary budget committee, Mr Martin Ogindo, who was present said he had noted the concerns and would forward them to his team.

Earlier revelations of a Sh10 billion discrepancy in the budget in April are being investigated by the CID.

Mr Mati and his team say that the Treasury adjusted the estimates as directed by Parliaments but failed to amend the Supplementary Appropriations Bill, 2009. This, Mr Mati said, could mean MPs approved the wrong sums.

He also accused the Treasury of shifting money from one vote to another to cover up the Sh10.7 billion problem identified in the earlier estimates.

By doing its own calculations and going over the details of the budget line by line, Mars Group said the total of Sh26,087,512,713 which the Treasury says the country needs to run until June is overstated by Sh163,799,077.

“This amount is not tied to any approved budget line item and is therefore liable to be misused,” Mr Mati said.

In addition, Mars Group says that a manual calculation of the sub-totals of expected income to be used for Recurrent Expenditure would total Sh4,488,352,694, less than the Sh4,628,325,694 approved by Parliament last week.

“The difference is an inflation of expected income by Sh139.9 million, thereby freeing up this money for application as recurrent expenditure elsewhere since it is not tied to any budget line items,” Mr Mati said. “And these are not the only arithmetical errors. There are more in the supplementary estimates which the Minister for Finance managed to get passed by Parliament on May 20.”

However, Siakago MP Lenny Kivuti who is a member of the Finance Committee, dismissed the errors pointed out by Mars Group, arguing that they were the same errors the parliamentary team discovered during their enquiry.

He said it was surprising that the lobby group was now quoting a Sh10.7 billion error which was brought out in their report.

“They are quoting the same lines that we cited in our report and the figure of Sh10.7 billion is what we detected. I doubt whether there is anything new they have found out,” said Mr Kivuti.

He said the joint committee sat with experts from Treasury and top officials of Mars Group who pointed out where the mistakes were.

“If there are any other errors the work should be left to the forensic audit, which we recommended, and we are sure that no money is going to be lost,” he said.

Former Ntonyiri MP Maoka Maore, who blew the whistle on Anglo Leasing and is knowledgeable on corruption, said if there was sabotage within Treasury, then it was not being dealt with well.

“Making mistakes is normal, the issue is what you do when you are found out,” he said. If the minister is being sabotaged, what has he done about it?”

Quoting a Baganda saying he added: “When you are cheated at the market, you go quarreling on the road.”

On Monday, the lobby group asked Parliament to scrutinise its allegations before the main budget is read next month.

It also proposed stringent measures be put in place to control how the government spends public money.

“Currently, ninety five shillings in every one hundred shillings paid as tax by the public is used to service recurrent expenditure leaving only five shillings to be used for development,” Mars Group managing director Jayne Mati said.

Mrs Mati noted that Parliament, as the people’s representative, must work hard to ensure that public funds are not wasted. She added that Parliament must fix the size of the Cabinet to no more than 13 ministers.

The lobby group wants the development expenditure increased to 40 per cent of the entire budget in order to meet objectives under agenda four and Vision 2030.

They are also calling for a reduction on external borrowing, which consumes 24 per cent of the government’s loan repayment vote in the budget.

“It is high time that it is made illegal for the government to borrow money on our behalf without seeking approval from parliament,” Mrs Mati said.


Submitted by nyasgwa
Posted May 27, 2009 01:27 AM

We forgave even when he was EXTREMELY arrogant to Imanyara, a man who was representing the tax payers. ALLWATCH you are right. MARS and someone like Kimunya can do a splendid job. This Uhuru does not seem to be able to add 1 plus 1. AIBU tele!!!! Go home. Enough.

Submitted by kagzz
Posted May 26, 2009 11:40 PM

Mwizi !! Mwizi !! Thats the cry of the majority....and this is just but the tip of the iceberg. I bet you figures have been cooked elsewhere to fatten some already fat pockets. And watch him run for president...or be prepped for the same. Good job well done MARS GROUP...keep pushing the hot buttons.

Submitted by scanfish
Posted May 26, 2009 08:21 PM

Why is Mati right and Uhuru and all those treasury technocrats, finance professionals all,WRONG?!! Something really smells and Mati should be asked to explain how he arrived at his outrageous conclusions.

Submitted by nimmy
Posted May 26, 2009 07:44 PM

This is so shameful for Kenya. A Finance Minister who has no clue whatsoever about the ministry his running. Kibaki should put Kenyan interests first by appointing a Finance Minister who has an actual degree in Finance, Banking and/or Economics! N Chokwe.

Submitted by SJ502
Posted May 26, 2009 06:08 PM

Uhuru should do the honorable thing- just Quit. Unless he can prove for a second time he is being set up by rebels in the treasury- it is either they go or him. Have your pick.

Submitted by yesuwangu
Posted May 26, 2009 06:06 PM

Since their were allegations of MPs being bribed the treasury can be on top of the list in making bribery.Treasury has just suddenly become incompetent and careless in its normal duties,Now errors are being blamed on computers and assistant clerks and secretaries.let the budget be held until the ministry gains confidence from the Kenyansr otherwise parliament or private firms should write form 2009-2010 budget

Submitted by sammuho
Posted May 26, 2009 05:33 PM

Well what of that person who does not have a kitchen assistant will who will the t blame on their burnt food? accountability is a choice which every politician is falling amiss. kenya need more than meet the eye power to bring it to better order

Submitted by oywaken
Posted May 26, 2009 04:35 PM

Will the minister for finance, the treasury officials and all the other relevant investigating committees prove that they are non-partisan to this budget scandal? Why, even after the investigation by the CID, the parliamentary committees, the treasury officials and the committee in charge of budget preparations the anomaly is still evidenced???? Does it mean the error was intended and must exist?

Submitted by vgogero
Posted May 26, 2009 02:55 PM

It seems that there are no accountants left at the treasury can Hon Uhuru swop places with Hon Oparanya .Or there is no one to proof read the figures is someone sleeping on the job and what are the credentials of the chief officers Kenyans have a right to know

Submitted by dope145
Posted May 26, 2009 02:54 PM

I think kenya is doomed.
Submitted by George Kimathi
Posted May 26, 2009 02:46 PM

Wakenya tumezamishwa na viongozi tuliochagua wenyewe. Hope we learn and remember when time comes - FIRE them OUT!!

Submitted by jkimani
Posted May 26, 2009 02:15 PM

There's a Greek proverb that says a fish rots from the head downwards and this perfectly reflects the state of the government where you have a president who way out of touch with reality and a finance 'minister' whose incompetence is only matched by his arrogance! People are tired of this lame government and we must surely be close to the tipping point. This cannot carry on for another 3 years, we need to be looking at 2010 for a new government with a new constitution.

Submitted by mza
Posted May 26, 2009 02:02 PM

Parliament looked at the figures and didn't see any scheme to defraud. I have no reason to doubt them. So why are so many bloggers shouting corruption? Do we not fall into the imperialists trap if we resort to calling any Kenyan leader corrupt? Do we not realise that that has a wider implication on how the world perceives all of us? If you tell me your brother is a thief, do you think I'll be very comfortable leaving you with my purse?

Submitted by mutimle
Posted May 26, 2009 02:00 PM

Once can be excussed for an error, incompetence or sabotage. Twice by the same amount can only be attributed to a desparate attempt at Fraud - plain and simple. Ngina's son should be naming the cohorts.

Submitted by candy001980
Posted May 26, 2009 01:39 PM

Surely you can't be in the kitchen twice, and both times come out with burnt food. Something must be amiss in that kitchen of yours. Either the cooker u are using to make your food is defective (burns too hard), or one of the people who help you in the kitchen hawakutakii mazuri. And moreso, you can't emerge with burnt food in the full knowledge of the fact that there will be professional chefs waiting outside to sample, and rate your food. Something else, which Kenyans are not being told about, is happening at the Treasury.

Submitted by machiavelli
Posted May 26, 2009 01:39 PM

Incompetent and totally unfit to be a Minister.

Submitted by MJOAN20
Posted May 26, 2009 01:32 PM

I think the best thing Uhuru should do is to contact Kimunya on how to keep such typing erros away from Mars Group and the likes to avoid continuous embarrassments. We know it's his eating period .

Submitted by MFIM2009
Posted May 26, 2009 12:48 PM

Kenyans, Kenyans don't u get tired of politics???????? who is Mars!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Submitted by Dinah1
Posted May 26, 2009 12:48 PM

During the approval of the revised supplementary budget, Khalwale and Ogindo raised queries over anomalies but were dismissed by Waititu and Shakeel sabir and the thing passed it in a record 9 minutes.It is quite obvious watu walikuwa wame kula ugali before hand.Oh,Cry my beloved country that we are saddled with a bunch of greedy hyenas.Mungu wetu ushuke and sweep these lot from our midst

Submitted by Obwakemwatugul
Posted May 26, 2009 12:40 PM

This is incompetence? How can an error be done twice. This is an innevitable mega scandal...The civil servants are innocent, the big fish are should face the law. When a thief is being chased, they will always also point at others in front shouting thief? thief? there thief? and in most cases in Nairobi, the thiefs escape while innocent people are arrested, shot or killed by the mobs.

Submitted by Adenopapa
Posted May 26, 2009 12:19 PM

Only bright kenyans used to be sent out of the country for further studies but Uhuru and Gideon Moi are perfect examples of what happens when you send kids of politicians (most have no brains) to study! Well, the donkey gets to the river but you cannot force it to drink! Kenyan MPs, pls resign...the whole lot of you, you know nothing!!!

Submitted by jsalmin
Posted May 26, 2009 11:56 AM

Sheer incopetence, wakenya tumechoka!!! jay U.K

Submitted by janamsemo
Posted May 26, 2009 11:36 AM

This culture of impunity will only decease when Kenyans are given the right constitution whereby no one is above the law. But with the present constitution, our politicians will still syphon poor tax payer's money money and walk on the street dancing with their heads high.

Submitted by kbtrobert
Posted May 26, 2009 10:50 AM

Whether it is sabotage,error or even incompetence on the part of the minister,there exist only one solution and that is 'political responsibility'.Take it Mr Minister.

Submitted by k_mutinda
Posted May 26, 2009 10:48 AM

Ministers should be separated from politics, they should be professionals appointed by the civil service to run ministries. Then the country's development will be less dependent on the politics of the day

Submitted by kusimba
Posted May 26, 2009 10:06 AM

Now, this is callous. Just the other day we excused the guy because of "sabotage talks". He went on gagged his staff and headed for the kitchen a second time. Surely the buck must stop somewhere. It is time to call a spade a spade. By the way who is he working for....?

Submitted by weda
Posted May 26, 2009 09:51 AM

Uhuru should have taken his time to go through the budget carefully after the anomalities were identified by this same same group. I would have expected him to go beyond the norm and invite some of these exparts who seems to be familiar with the budget estimates. It cost nothing to work with well knowledge people in particular area as this will benefit the tax payers whose money is being missapropriated by mindless idlers at the treasury.

Submitted by Mpakamwisho
Posted May 26, 2009 09:50 AM

Incompetence cannot be better defined as it has with Uhuru. He definitely does not merit the position. He should not wait to be sacked, he should just resign. There is no politics in this case, it is simply INCOMPETENCE.

Submitted by GEDYK
Posted May 26, 2009 09:46 AM

We have always been fooled by our leaders but they should take note that we shall take our share un pursusded.... for now the may paly us al;lthe fool untill our time. why dont they learn from other dictators who ahve playe similar games without much success?

Submitted by carolo
Posted May 26, 2009 09:06 AM

How much incompetency can we stomach. Can someone not start this sabortage business, coz there is no way Uhuru can be sabortaged if he is the same person who picks up the document from treasury and drops it off at parliament. You want to tell me this guy never reads documents he's carrying before he presents them to others. He needs to give up politics and go take care of the family business - he can mess up that one, we don't care

Submitted by karabu
Posted May 26, 2009 08:50 AM

Its been well said by Kenyans. Kudos, keep up the good ideas. If gov. does not have money to run its affairs, how can it afford such mistakes. Let a qualified person run the ministry. Kimunya?

Submitted by njerirose24
Posted May 26, 2009 08:50 AM

This is a big let down for us from Mt Kenya.Sure if we must lead in key ministries, can't we get a qualified person? The fact that Uhuru got his degree from abroad does not mean that he must run that ministry! We need to show others that we are one. This family dynastic administration wont help us. Where are we heading to now? Uhuru, please clean up the mess. We from the mountain must show competency in all areas.

Submitted by Ness
Posted May 26, 2009 08:49 AM

One have to ask him/herself. Is this whistle browling or sobatage with some people at the treasury??????? The authorities should take this up>

Submitted by Kibutu Kiiru
Posted May 26, 2009 08:46 AM

Ministers are just politicians and do not go into the technical depth of ministries. They concentrate on policies. As such, if any we have few ministers who are qualified to run their ministries. If a minister does not establish rapport with the technocrats he/she will end up in an abyss without knowing. As patience pays, impatience ruins. The treasury staff who is confiding in MARS should be raising the issue with his fellow staff first and only pass it on to MARS if correction is not undertaken. Let us not nourish the sabotage gene always.

Submitted by simondondi
Posted May 26, 2009 08:21 AM

That guy's only qualification to run the Finance Ministry is biological. There are millions of very good guys from mt Kenya who can run that ministry. Why is Obako not picking on them. Uhuru is no friends with figures!!!

Submitted by muia
Posted May 26, 2009 08:14 AM

you see, mps should not be ministers, change katiba let ministers be appointed from kenyans who qualify to to head such crucial ministries

Submitted by rofi
Posted May 26, 2009 08:11 AM

Uhuru is too casual about his job and to imagine he is deputy PM to boot. The right thing for him to do is let those with the relevant skills and competencies get on with the job. I am thinking of Mr. Kimunya! I think the permanent Secretary in the ministry should also move on.

Submitted by cyberspc
Posted May 26, 2009 08:10 AM

What is the work of Kenya's Parliamet? Why do you elect your rpresentatives? Just to go there and sleep all day? Money is being stolen and they cann't see? Outrageous!

Submitted by mpisha
Posted May 26, 2009 07:34 AM

His reputation and competence with that Ministry is going down the drain,he should save face by resigning.But dont expect much,they will start throwing tantrums towards MARS group using their cronies! It clearly shows how these politicians care less about kenyans-(

Submitted by r.kariuki
Posted May 26, 2009 07:31 AM

This guy thinks kenyans can elect him President despite the casual manner he handles business ?

Submitted by joemutungi
Posted May 26, 2009 05:29 AM

Politicians who understand little or nothing at all about mathematics of burget preparations should shut their mouths. It is high time we as Kenyans, appreciate proffessional whistle blowers like the MARS group.I think history has placed them in good books.Instead of "quarreling on the road", Uhuru should check out thoroughly where the problem is, and if he can't handle the ministry, just quit.Do we remember the Japanese finance minister who resigned just because he appeared as if he was drunk in a crucial meeting?!Why cling onto something you can't handle??

Submitted by MUTHETHENI
Posted May 26, 2009 04:44 AM

Nobody makes a typing error for Ksh 10 billion. These guys know what they are doing. They are cooking the books!

Submitted by wilsonoketdh
Posted May 26, 2009 03:30 AM

This guy has proved over and over he is not straight. Why they still have him as a finance minister nobody knows. He always looks drunk, slouchy and careless. Its a high time they told him to step down before Kenya gets into a deeper economic crisis.

Submitted by crimson
Posted May 26, 2009 01:44 AM

no surprises anymore... nothing puzzling here... what qualifications did kenyatta have to be a finance ministry anyway??? i wont answer that... you know maybe we should let the libyans and other arabs run our treasury too, at least the poor wanainchi will know exactly where their tax money is going to.... and maybe only maybe there computers dont make these kind of errror...but again they shouldnt after all we trust them with our resources right...but honestly is kenyatta serious with these... i hope all these are not true

Submitted by maugo1234
Posted May 26, 2009 01:12 AM

If the allegations are true, it is the incompetence of the minister,the weak parliamentary watchdog committee as well as the quality of the mps. I never heard of Uhuru as a serious professional or business executive in the private sector before the countdown to project 2002. managing illegally acquired land and wealth is not a qualification for such an important ministry. Tribalism and dynastic rule coupled with succession positioning will ruin Kenya. I only hope the reforms could be completed at the earliest possible time so that voters are given a chance to clear this mess.

Submitted by ogweny
Posted May 25, 2009 11:45 PM

Yeah, Uhuru, if they find u with any mistakes this time around, then just pack and go. i am tired of defending you.

Submitted by allwatch
Posted May 25, 2009 11:17 PM

Maybe we should make MARS GROUP Kenya's official Ministry of Finance and send Uhuru and the political Treasury home. I can't believe there is no calculator at the treasury...

Submitted by bobcat
Posted May 25, 2009 11:11 PM

Mati, u r my hero today,parliament,u deserve to be all bombed together,an Uhuru,I 4give u bcoz u never ever pretended to have a high affinity for cerebral stuff, and ur only qualification which u don't hide is pedigree.

Submitted by wanmt
Posted May 25, 2009 11:00 PM

It is known ministers are actually ceremonial heads of their ministries. The chief accounting officers are the PS's. Politicians never realize this fact to their detriment. The PM and other ministers should know this and let the PS's work more efficiently. The only politician with executive authority is the president(Head of State) by the current law.