NAIROBI – Prime CS and Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has asked for Sh1 billion in the supplementary budget to ensure smooth operations of Kenya’s missions abroad.
Appearing before the National Assembly Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committee on Monday, Mudavadi said a cash-crisis occasioned by the weakening of the Kenya Shilling against the dollar has paralyzed service delivery abroad, as the budget has reduced by 30 per cent.
The ministry is thus seeking a revision from Sh19.7 billion to Sh20.6 billion allocation in the supplementary budget.
The state department of Foreign Affairs seeks to increase current expenditure from Sh17.8 billion to Sh19.4 billion but reduce capital expenditure from Sh1.9 billion to Sh1.2 billion.
“The increase in current expenditure is on the account of additional Appropriations-in-Aid for Dar es Salaam and Dubai missions, and additional funds to cater for state visits and salaries shortfall, while the decrease in capital expenditure is on account of rationalization of expenditure,” the state department says in its justification for additional funding.
Mudavadi told the committee that foreign missions are in deplorable condition and the welfare of Kenyan diplomats abroad is dire as their salaries have delayed by up to three months.
He added that the budget constraints are affecting contractual obligations, whose failure to honour could have severe consequences.
Mudavadi said the financial support provided to the State Departments of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs play a vital role in fulfilling their mandates, and that a well-funded and resourced ministry would contribute significantly to Kenya’s national development agenda.
Diaspora Affairs Roseline Njogu asked for more resources for the new state department, saying for every shilling allocated to the docket, they can bring back Sh572 in remittances.
“The more funds we are able to have, especially now that we have a diaspora placement agency, the more we will be able to deliver,” PS Njogu told the committee.