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Azimio hits out at Ruto over civil servants salary delays

The opposition Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance on April 7, 2023, called for the auditing of the Kenya Revenue Authority, the National Treasure and the Central Bank of Kenya, following delays in the payment of civil servants salaries.

Honorable Opiyo Wandayi, the Leader of Minority in the National Assembly said the government being unable to meet one of its most basic functions was a sign of a worsening economic situation in Kenya and that the country will collapse while people hoped for miracles.

“…Kenya Kwanza then proceeded to appoint people with questionable credentials and serious criminal records and placed them at our revenue and financial systems at the KRA, National Treasury and even the Central Bank of Kenya,” read Honorable Wandayi’s statement in part.

He also mentioned how Kenya Kwanza government worked to remove food subsidies, saying that subsidizing consumption was a waste of money and that they would save billions. In addition, President Ruto’s regime increased taxes including on M-Pesa and internet transactions, capital gains, and VAT on e-books, and video conferencing among others.

“The net effect of all these measures was supposedly to increase revenue collection to between Sh 4 trillion and Sh 5 trillion per year and enable the government to finance its operations. Today, six months into this regime, Kenya cannot pay salaries; leave along finance its operations. This is the sad state of affairs that the administration is hiding from Kenyans. For the first time since independence, Kenya is unable to pay salaries to civil servants and Members of Parliament. They don’t known when or if they will be paid. The situation has been degenerating since December last year,” he added.

Honorable Wandayi decried MPs not being paid as they headed to the mid-month and revealed that only security service officers- police and military- had been paid “for reasons obvious to all. It won’t be long before members of the disciplined forces also begin missing salaries if we continue this way.”

Azimio demanded to know where all the taxes and savings from scraped subsidies was going to, claiming that criminals at the KRA were stealing the taxes and that there were incompetent staff at the Treasure who were skimming off the revenue while failing to come up with sound policies for cash flow. He attributed these crimes to the delay of salaries of MPs going into Easter holidays.

“It is a sad time for Kenya. We never ever imagined this could happen in Kenya,” added Hon Wandayi as he said that Counties had gone four months without revenue from the National Treasury as well, therefore compromising service delivery.

According to Azimio, the State owed state agencies Sh 204 billion and Sh 92.5 billion to Counties for the months January-March 2023. At this time, Azimio called out the government of being busy setting up new government offices and working on salaries and benefits for 50 new Chief Administrative Secretaries, their staff and creating offices of spouses and their children.

Hon Wandayi wondered how the State could scrap subsidies, increase taxes, borrow internationally and yet, the financial situation in Kenya worsens. He demanded to know where the money was going as well as why the Kenya Shilling was depreciating without an explanation.

“This state of affairs calls for bold leadership. We are calling on Parliament to take leadership and conduct inquiry on the financial and economic crisis building up in the county before we collapse like other African countries that have gone that route,” said Hon Wandayi.

He also called for the auditing of the National Treasury, the CBK and the KRA. He also called for the auditing of the revenue from the Kenya Airports Authority, the courts, customs, National Social Security Fund, aids, grants; and revenue administration and government spending.

“It is not enough to allow the regime to hide behind explanations like Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and the general economic meltdown around the globe. We believe a lot of our cashflow problems have got to do with corruption, tribalism, nepotism, incompetence and plain theft at critical revenue collection points,” concluded Hon Wandayi.

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