DP Gachagua: Govt identifying more areas to cut spending

Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi address a press conference at Mathira constituency office in Karatina town during a handover ceremony of the office on October 5, 2022. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

The government has reiterated its plans to cut annual expenditure in the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said they are mapping sectors that do not require the government to inject more resources into them.

He said they had “decided that there are things that can wait. The unnecessary foreign travels by government officials can wait. They can travel when things get better”.

Mr Gachagua spoke on Wednesday when he handed over the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) office to Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi. Mr Gachagua was Mathira MP for one term before ascending to the presidency.

“In areas of hospitality, government officials can hold seminars when things get better. We will look into the non-priority areas,” Mr Gachagua said.

In his first speech to Parliament as President, Dr William Ruto directed the Ministry of Finance to slash Sh300 billion from annual government spending this year. But he did not provide clear details on the expenditure that is slated to be cut.

Rigathi Gachagua Wamumbi

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua addresses Mathira constituency office staff in Karatina town during the handing over ceremony to the newly elected MP Eric Wamumbi on October 5, 2022. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

Mr Gachagua said the government has developed a programme to mobilise food and water from development partners and channel it to various parts of the country that are hit hard by drought.

“The government is committed to ensuring that people do not die from hunger. I want to assure the people of Kenya that we are working hard as a government and things will change for the better in the next few days,” he said.

The government is also mapping regions not classified as arid or semi-arid though residents in those areas are suffering from starvation.

“We have severe drought in parts of Kieni, Murang’a, Mathira, Ndaragwa, Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Meru constituencies. We will meet and come up with a clear plan on how food and water reaches those deserving cases,” Mr Gachagua said.

“We are still debating on whether we will disburse food or conduct a cash transfer programme so as to avoid wastage. Something is being done about it.”

Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua leaves Mathira constituency office in Karatina town after he handed over to the newly elected MP Eric Wamumbi on October 5, 2022.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

During the event at the Mathira CDF office in Karatina, Mr Gachagua challenged the new MP to ensure that all development projects he had initiated but which stalled due to ‘bad politics’ are completed.

As MP, Mr Gachagua was at loggerheads with Mr Kenyatta’s administration because he had decided to support Dr Ruto after the latter and the former President fell out.

Mr Gachagua had complained that the ‘deep state’ was harassing him because of his political stand and that development projects in Mathira had been sabotaged.

He claimed that many road and water projects costing billions of shillings had stalled at various stages of completion, blaming the previous administration for this.

“At some point during my tenure as Mathira MP, the criminal justice system was used against me in order to coerce me to change my political stand, but I refused,” Mr Gachagua said.

Mr Gachagua told Mr Wamumbi that he would be available to offer any support if called to do so to help him deliver to his former constituents.

The DP urged Mr Wamumbi to use local contractors so as to help locals in line with the “bottom-up” economic model they championed during campaigns.

He also asked his successor to improve the physical standards of day secondary schools by renovating and equipping them, adding that these schools can serve as centres of academic excellence at friendly fees.