By Calvin Osiemo
Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader, Raila Odinga has raised concern over the Ksh 2.1 trillion budget that was released last week by Finance ministry Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich. Mr. Odinga said he is disappointed with the budget as he had expected that it would cater for all the Kenyans.
“I followed keenly the reading of the budget but I later asked myself if the CS was living in Kenya or some other foreign country. He was not speaking like a Kenyan. He allocated Ksh. 200 billion for security and only Ksh. 290 billion for country governments,” Mr. Odinga said.
In a quick rejoinder for the Okoa Kenya Initiative by the opposition which seeks increased funding for county governments, the former Prime Minister said the Jubilee government under the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are determined to see devolution dead by not giving enough money to the counties.
“The minister spoke for one hour 45 minutes, but only used five minutes to talk about devolution. There is no money in counties where the youth can secure jobs or tenders. What counties such as Nairobi and Lamu receive is not enough to even pay workers,” Raila said.
Speaking at the same event at Olympic Primary School in Nairobi on Sunday, ODM chairman John Mbadi said that it was insensitive because it would be very hard to raise the deficit meaning that Kenyans will suffer because of increased taxes in order to cover the gap.
“You cannot prepare a budget with a deficit of Ksh. 550 billion. It is also not possible to collect Ksh. 1.3 trillion in revenue. It is not easy to finance this budget,” said Mr. Mbadi.
Junet Mohammed, Suna East Member of Parliament echoed the same sentiments raised by his counterpart Mbadi.
“We learnt about ambitious programs to build roads and stadiums, and the provision of laptops, but it appears everything will be financed by donors. The deficit is too big,” said Junet.
In what seems as a road map to the 2017 elections, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said that Raila is the solution to all the problems facing Kenyans which include diseases, poverty and poor leadership if elected president.
“Raila will help us deal with these challenges when he forms the government in 2017. I will make sure Nairobi county supports him in the next elections,” said the Governor.