HomeInternationalKenya Seeks Extra US$435m For Cabinet, Other Spending

Kenya Seeks Extra US$435m For Cabinet, Other Spending

KENYA’S government is seeking an extra 27 billion shillings (US$435 million) above its 2007/2008 fiscal budget, in part to fund a new coalition cabinet formed to end a political crisis.

The formation of the 41-member cabinet, Kenya’s largest and costliest, was key to a deal to solve the east African nation’s post-election unrest where more than 1 200 people died and 350 000 fled their homes.

In supplementary estimates tabled in parliament, Finance Minister Amos Kimunya requested additional funds for administrative expenses of the newly created ministries.

Some of it will also fund the resettling of refugees, a free secondary education programme launched in January and farm payments.

If approved, the newly-created office of the Prime Minister, held by former political prisoner Raila Odinga, would need about 314 million shillings to set up.

The government had planned to spend a total of 693,5 billion shillings over 2007/08 but Kimunya needs the additional amount to be spent before the end of June.

In the last financial year, Kimunya also requested 27 billion shillings for extra spending.

The government has set itself a domestic borrowing cap of 29,5 billion shillings for the current fiscal year.

But tax revenue for the third quarter of 2007 fell due to the post election violence.

The government is selling a 25% stake in mobile phone provider Safaricom, for at least 50 billion shillings in an ongoing initial public offer.

The new cabinet is meant to steer the redrafting of a new constitution within 12 months and help address simmering issues of land, wealth and power that fuelled the crisis.

But many Kenyans are doubtful that the cabinet will be able to work together, and there are fears that it will descend into bickering and infighting. – Reuters.

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