Kenya's Finance Minister, Mr. Mwai Kibaki, delivered his Budget speech in Nairobi on Thursday (12?
Kenya's Finance Minister, Mr. Mwai Kibaki, delivered his Budget speech in Nairobi on Thursday (12 June) against a background of Parliamentary and economic turmoil.
For Mr. Kibaki the prime issue has been to overcome the country's biggest balance of payments deficit since independence.
But for President Jomo Kenyatta, Budget Day came amid what may be the greatest test of his public prestige since Uhuru.
On Tuesday there was uproar in the Kenyan Parliament when a Government move to block the adoption of a shock report on the mystery murder of popular politician Josiah Mwangi Kariuki was defeated. In the one-party Kenyan Parliament the thwarting of the Government was unprecedented.
The bombshell report accuses the Kenyan police of a massive cover-up to prevent the truth coming out about the murder of Kariuki, who was President Kenyatta's most outspoken Parliamentary critic.
President Kenyatta reacted sharply to his narrow defeat by sacking his Assistant Minister for Works, Mr. John Keen, for voting against the Government motion.
As for the Budget, total expenditure was announced as 6,546,000,000 shillings (935 million U.S. dollars). Of the projected expenditure 57 per cent was expected to come from grants or loans. The largest expenditure will be 355,200,000 shillings (50,743,000 U.S. dollars) for defence.
SYNOPSIS: The Budget was delivered to Kenya's Parliament in Nairobi on Thursday against the most threatening political climate to face the Kenyatta government since independence.
The political scene in Kenya during the preceding days was in uproar after the Government suffered an unprecedented Parliamentary defeat and a Minister was subsequently dismissed.
Arriving at Parliament House to make his Budget speech, Finance Minister -- Mr. Mwai Kibaki -- was faced with tackling the country's biggest balance of payments deficit since independence. Despite the pressing economic problems the country was more preoccupied with allegations of high-level corruption.
Although he has not been directly implicated, the situation has tested President Kenyatta's prestige. On Tuesday Parliament defeated a Government move to block a report on the murder of a politician who had been the government's most outspoken critic. The report accused the police of covering-up the truth.
President Kenyatta reacted sharply to the defeat by dismissing the assistant Works Minister, Mr. John Keen.