Kenya:Sh384 million for swearing in President not in Budget

The cash for swearing in the President after the August 8 General Election is missing in the national budget for the year starting July, State House has revealed.

State House reckons that the Treasury has not factored in Sh384.25 million for the occasion and is lobbying Parliament for the millions to be included in its budget for a smooth political transition.

The cash is needed for a top-level committee that will guide the transfer of power in the weeks between when the poll agency declares the presidential poll winner and the public swearing-in ceremony attended by heads of State and diplomats at taxpayers’ expense.

“Due to budgetary constraints, the presidency could not fund the following key activities… the assumption of the office of the President,” State House says in its budget submission to Parliament.

The budget for the function is especially crucial in the event of a power transfer from the incumbent to an Opposition candidate.

The cash is used to prepare the new head of State, including organising new staff, security and briefings from top government officials for the President-elect as well as facilitate communication between the outgoing and the incoming President.

The swearing-in is done by a committee of 22 people, including security chiefs, Attorney-General, principal secretaries, one Cabinet secretary and three persons nominated by the President-elect in line with the Assumption of Office of President Act.

Eleven heads of State attended the April 2013 inauguration of Uhuru Kenyatta as Kenya’s fourth President.

Under the Assumption of the Office of President Act, an ad hoc committee chaired by Secretary to the Cabinet is supposed to prepare a programme for the ceremony immediately after the polls.

The law was enacted after the chaotic transfer of power from President Daniel Arap Moi to Mwai Kibaki in 2002.

A rowdy section of the crowd hurled balls of mud at the retiring president while the VIP dais was full with diplomats and foreign dignitaries having stood for hours after failing to find seats.

For a second term, Mr. Kibaki was sworn in late in the evening in 2008 without the usual jubilant supporters or diplomats after a contested poll.

Only a few dozen loyalists and civil servants witnessed the occasion at State House.

This came immediately after the electoral agency declared Mr Kibaki the President on December 30, triggering the post-election violence that left at least 1,200 people dead.

Under the Assumption of the Office of President Act, the swearing-in must be conducted at a public place in Nairobi between 10 am and 2 pm. The day is reserved as a public holiday.

President Kenyatta is running for a second and final five-year term on a Jubilee Party ticket.

He is widely expected to face a coalition of Opposition parties under the National Super Alliance (Nasa) fronted by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Vice Presidents Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi and Senator Moses Wetang’ula, a former Cabinet minister.

According to the Act, the Transition Committee will work for a period of one month to complete the power transfer process.

The committee is supposed to start by arranging a security detail, staff and facilities for both the new president and the deputy immediately the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission releases the final results.

Credit: Business Daily

Published on 13 March 2017 | 11:39 am at Source