Uhuru Kenyatta: How William Ruto is frustrating me

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta has accused the Kenya Kwanza government, now headed by his former Deputy William Ruto of denying him the budget to run his office.

Mr Kenyatta claims he has not received a cent despite being allocated Sh503 million for the current financial year.

Through his spokesperson, Ms Kanze Dena-Mararo, Mr Kenyatta on Monday insisted that he had not received new vehicles as required by law, forcing him to use the old transitional fleet that State House has refused to fuel.

“In the 2023/2024 financial year, which ends in a few weeks, the budget allocation to this office was Sh503 million.

“The year is ending without the office having access to this allocation. The total amount for the two years that we have not had access to is about 1 billion Kenyan shillings,” Ms Dena said.

She noted that while salaries and medical insurance have been paid, no other monies spent by the former president’s office can be accounted for.

Speaking at the Uhuru Kenyatta Institute in Nairobi, where the office of the retired president is based, Ms Dena claimed that two senior officers of the former head of state have so far not had their contracts renewed and therefore haven’t received salaries for the past two years.

The two include Principal Secretary for Administration George Kariuki and herself – the Principal Secretary for Communications.

On the budget challenges, Ms Dena noted that in the new year 2024/2025, the budget allocation is Sh579 million, adding that the officer is “waiting with bated breath to see if this will be honoured”.

“The quagmire the office is in is that the office cannot account for what has been used and where the money has been used as several requests and attempts to get budget returns from the accounting officer have fallen on deaf ears,” she said.

Mr Kenyatta, she noted, also takes great exception to the mode of communication State House has adopted to address his office.

“The Office notes with concern the manner in which State House chooses to communicate with this Office. State House chooses a verbal form of communication on official matters or chooses not to respond to correspondence generated by this office.

“This includes requests for fuel and maintenance, office operations and facilitation, pending contract renewals and budget returns,” Ms Dena said.

She said there was a need for written communication to maintain transparency and order.

Ms Dena also pointed out that the former president was using vehicles given to him on an interim basis and had not yet received a new fleet as required by the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act.

“The office would like to place on record that after the transition, a conversation was initiated between the two offices regarding the purchase of vehicles as required by law. This conversation has been made available to you.

“The vehicles were identified, down to the colour of the said vehicle, and then the conversation froze. To date, the conversation has not been resumed. We do not know whether the cars were bought or not,” said Ms Dena.

On international travel, the official noted that the former president has undertaken several official trips since his retirement, as per his duties and responsibilities.

“Only two such trips have been honoured so far,” she said.

She explained that the two include the trip to Ethiopia on matters relating to the African Union-led peace process and the one to Burundi, which was the 11th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the East African Community, on matters relating to the peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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