The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has accused the National Treasury of weak mechanisms of transparency following the expenditure of unbudgeted Sh55billion towards the end of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s term in the run-up to transition from one Government to the other.
A document presented by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) to MPs during their induction revealed that the Treasury disbursed the funds without the approval of the National Assembly.
The presentations revealed that Sh23.1 billion has already been deposited to the various government Ministries and State Departments.
In a petition to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Serah Kioko, COFEK Secretary General Stephen Mutoro said the move amounts to blatant corruption.
“The Kenyan taxpayer cannot be put in a situation where s/he must finance an expensive election and an opaque transition where colossal sums of money are lost. Again, this cannot be a precedent that must be set,” Stephen Mutoro.
He noted that the tracking and recovery of the said funds should be made a priority, with those who broke the law being brought to swift justice.
“Mechanisms to avert similar incidents from occurring in future must be put in place. This would be the least that is needed to inspire confidence among Kenyans to pay tax,” COFEK Secretary General said
The Secretary-General also called for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry, with public hearings, to have the public know why and further appreciate how the said Sh55 billion was irregularly allocated and spent.
“The inquiry on the relevant authority’s should be made public immediately it is tabled in Parliament for further scrutiny by members of the public,” the petition read.
He also called for the National Assembly to amend the relevant laws to bar outgoing administrations from spending any such public funds not voted by the National Assembly and, by dint of the same, introduce heavy penalties including life in prison for those found culpable on such economic crimes that amount to treason and economic terrorism.
COFEK also called for the amendment of the Finance Act, 2022 and other relevant laws with a focus on recalling delegated legislative power on taxation granted to the Kenya Revenue Authority and or any other agency.