Azimio party has raised more concerns over the worsening country’s economy, attributing the state of disarray to the government’s non-prioritized spending.
Addressing the Media in a press statement released on Tuesday, April 11, the minority leader of the Azimio coalition Opiyo Wandayi states that the country is facing an economic and financial crisis, thanks to non-prioritized government spending, heavy tax duty imposed on businesses, massive loan obligations to China, weakening shilling, and low reserves for foreign exchange.
According to the party, the revenue collection by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), declined significantly in February 2023, compared to what was expected. The tax body managed to collect Ksh 1.2 trillion as compared to Ksh 2.1 trillion that was expected, leaving a huge deficit of Ksh 900 billion. Moreover, the party accuses the Kenya Kwanza government of failing to prioritize spending for development.
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The originally approved development expenditure by the National government for the financial year 2022/2023 was Ksh 715 billion which was drastically reduced to Ksh 333 billion, a more than half reduction. Azimio argues that despite these intense cuts done on the budget, only Ksh 162 billion has been released to some MDAs for development spending.
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The minority leader’s office claims that while development funds have been put on hold, the executive office of the President received Ksh 1 billion for development, catering for luxuries, among them new cars and furniture. They also pointed out that the government has plans to retrench civil servants to cut costs, while they still insist on the appointment of CASs when the financial state of the country has gradually become a sinking ship.
Azimio states that Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u and Treasury PS Chris Kiptoo have confirmed these allegations. The party strongly condemns the government for these injustices, which they term ‘Apocalyptic announcements’
Concerning these issues, the Azimio coalition has made several demands to address these problems, including the formation of a committee of legislators and financial experts to urgently examine and report the expenditure regime, administration, and policies obtained at the National Treasury, the KRA, Kenya Airports Authority, Kenya Ports Authority, and public bodies in the revenue collection chain.
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The party also wants the government to highlight the response actions that they have already/ plan to take to address the dire financial situation. The party demands that the government come up with solutions to the current economic menace, instead of pointing fingers at the expense of suffering Kenyans.