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Questions Raised Over Nairobi Commuter Train 

  • The Budget and Appropriations Committee Chair Kanini Kega, on Thursday, December 3, tabled reservations regarding how the newly launched Nairobi Commuter Trains project was funded.

    Speaking during the morning session in the National Assembly, the Kieni MP informed the house that the money spent on the undertaking by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) in conjunction with Kenya Railways was not approved.

    “The budget and appropriations committee is in receipt of a brief from the Treasury dated October 15, of expenses incurred in the current financial year under Article 223,

    “The committee is concerned that some of these expenses incurred under the act are not emergencies, and therefore undermines the spirit of the supplementary budget process,” he stated.

    Kenya's Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairperson Kanini Kega speaking in Parliament on December 3, 2020.

    Kenya’s Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairperson Kanini Kega speaking in Parliament on December 3, 2020.

    File

    Under Article 223, Treasury is allowed to spend money if the amount is insufficient or a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by that Act.

    Treasury can also spend if money has been withdrawn from the Contingency Fund.

    In addition, the approval of Parliament for any spending under this Article shall be sought within two months after the first withdrawal of the money.

    According to the budget committee chairperson, the Nairobi Commuter Train project expenditure went against all the constitutional guidelines.

    He further revealed that the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) in itself was funded in the same manner.

    The Nairobi Railway expansion project has cost upwards of Ksh 27 billion has seen over 170 hectares of land being repossessed and gazette by the government.

    Kanini Kega expressed his displeasure as he detailed Treasury CS Ukur Yatani’s brief which showed Ksh36.1 billion had been spent without prior vetting by the Special Committee or approval.

    His sentiments were echoed by the majority in the House, with South Imenti Murungi Kathuri calling out the Treasury CS over his recent remarks. 

    “In all the newspapers today, the Treasury CS is telling us to brace for tough economic times, yet he is the one who is out there spending billions we are yet to approve.

    “As we speak, even members of this house, our staff have been paid for only 2 months. In terms of the Ksh 41.7 billion meant for National Government Constituency Fund (NG-CDF) none of the counties has received a single shilling,” he lamented.

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    Treasury CS Ukur Yatani (right) poses for a photo at Treasury Headquarters, Nairobi on Thursday, June 11, 2020, ahead of Budget 2020/21 presentation

    File

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