Ruto, aides burst budget by Sh900m in nine months

President William Ruto addresses the nation at State House in Nairobi.

President William Ruto addresses the nation at State House in Nairobi. 

Photo credit: Bonface Bogita | Nation Media Group

State House and the Executive Office of the President withdrew nearly Sh900 million more than what was budgeted in the nine-month period ended March.

The latest quarterly National Treasury disclosures show expenditure at President William Ruto’s official office and residence as well as the offices of his coterie of aides amounted to Sh11.29 billion between July 2023 and March, against a target of Sh10.40 billion. This translated to an over-expenditure of Sh882 million.

Expenditure above-the-budget goes against a commitment by Treasury to reject cash requests beyond what has been approved, except for critical sectors such as security and education.

“In order to maintain the primary balance consistent with the fiscal consolidation path, expenditures have to be maintained at the levels approved in printed estimates,” Treasury officials wrote in the Budget Review and Outlook Paper for the current fiscal year.

The quarterly disclosures show that State House’s expenditure surpassed the Sh7.38 billion budget by Sh689 million, while the Executive Office of President’s withdrawals exceeded the Sh3.03 billion target by Sh193 million.

The expenditures do not include those for the Office of the Deputy President and Prime Cabinet Secretary, which are under separate votes despite being listed under the Executive Office of the President through Executive Order No. 1 of 2023.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s office spent Sh2.995 billion, slightly below the Sh3.224 billion budget for the nine-month period, while Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi’s office surpassed the Sh897 million target by Sh10 million.

Recurrent bills such as maintenance, administration and compensation for employees at State House overshot the budget by Sh486 million. The budget for day-to-day running of the Executive Office of the President was also Sh181 million than the budget.

This is on the back of State House getting an additional Sh2.53 billion in the supplementary budget late last year “to cater for personnel emolument, enhanced operations & maintenance expenses, refurbishment of buildings and other civil works”.

The over-expenditure shines the spotlight on the Ruto administration’s austerity measures.