Politics Kenya's president and VP blow Sh667 million on entertainment in six months

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The figures undermine Treasury's efforts to implement austerity measures

play Uhuru,Ruto double entertainment budget in six months (Courtesy)

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, spent nearly double their expenditure on receiving and entertaining guests during the six months to December 2017.

According to the latest report by the Controller of Budget, the presidency – which comprises the offices of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, spent Sh666.9 million on hospitality in the half year, up from Sh360 million in a similar period a year earlier.

The 85 per cent rise in spending on hospitality came at a period when the two leaders were vigorously involved in the election campaigns as they sought a second term. 

The presidency’s entertainment budget accounted for 25.7 per cent of the Sh2.6 billion that public offices spent on parties and receptions in the period.

Travel expenditure

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto's travel expenditure also more than doubled to Sh432.5 million in the six months to December, up from Sh181.6 million in the same period a year earlier. 

These figures, however, undermine Treasury's efforts to implement austerity measures prompted by under performance in revenue collection amid rising expenditure. 

The Jubilee government early in 2014 announced a tight austerity programme.

This included pay cuts for top officials, lower entertainment expenditure and curb in trips expenditure with only essential international travel allowed.