February 5, 2016

Kenya pours billions into army and police

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More money will be pumped to strengthen national security in the next financial year, according to Budget estimates tabled in Parliament Thursday.

In the 2015/16 Budget estimates, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich increased the allocation to the military and the police to Sh215 billion, about Sh26 billion higher than last year.

Defence and Intelligence departments will get about Sh16 billion more than last year while the police will get an additional Sh10 billion.

Some Sh6.4 billion will go to Amison in Somalia and peace keeping missions. Out of the amount, the highest will go to buy military equipment at Sh15 billion and another Sh10 billion for police security equipment.

The enhanced allocations signal the government’s commitment to ramp up security in the wake of terrorist attacks in which more than 150 Kenyans have been killed and which have led to a sharp decline in tourism.

Besides the proposed increased spending on security, infrastructure, ICT, energy and education will get the largest chunk of the Sh1.99 trillion Budget.
However, Kenyans will have to dig deeper into their pockets to fund the proposed spending, after the Treasury set a higher target for the Kenya Revenue Authority.

The tax collector will now be required to raise an extra Sh194 billion compared to the current year’s target. The tax collector will be expected to raise Sh1.358 trillion in the next financial year, up from Sh1.164 trillion in 2014 to fund the expanded Budget.

The plan to increase taxation comes against the background of a slump in agriculture, tourism and manufacturing in 2014 and rising inflation which hit an eight-month high of 7.8 per cent in April.


According to the Budget summary for 2015/2016, the government has focused on stimulating growth in agriculture, tourism and manufacturing which were hit hard by insecurity and erratic rainfall last year.

Counties have also been allocated Sh283.7 billion, an improvement from the Sh266.7 billion they received last year.

Food security and agriculture have been allocated Sh13.8 billion for on-going irrigation and the transformation from subsistence to commercial farming. From this allocation, the National Irrigation Board has been allocated Sh10.3 billion while the Galana Irrigation Scheme will get Sh3.5 billion. Land titling will be allocated Sh3.5 billion while Sh3 billion will be used to subsidise farmers.

Strategic food reserves will get Sh2.7 billion, fisheries Sh3.1 billion and compensation of farmers in the Mwea Irrigation Scheme Sh1.2 billion. Another Sh1 billion will be used to write off coffee debts.

The financially troubled Kenya Meat Commission will get Sh600 million while the troubled pyrethrum sector has been allocated Sh300 million with pastoralists expected to get another Sh300 million for creation of disease free zones.

Road, railway and energy will also get massive allocations in the Vision 2030 blue print and the Jubilee manifesto getting more funding.
The new standard gauge railway will get a massive Sh118 billion directly and Sh25.7 billion from the Railway Development Levy Fund.

Another Sh1.3 billion will go towards replacement of ferries.


Road construction will be allocated Sh58.5 billion out of which Sh5 billion will go to an annuity designed to attract investment from the private sector. Road maintenance will get another Sh26.6 billion while Sh42.3 billion will be spent on foreign funded roads.

Tourism has been allocated Sh6 billion to boost recovery. It has faced a down turn due to insecurity and travel advisories. Industrial development will get Sh3 billion.

Another Sh13.2 billion has been allocated to geothermal power generation and Sh21.1 billion for power transmission while another Sh1.5 billion will be used for the last mile internet connectivity.

Rural electrification will get Sh14.9 billion while street lighting has been allocated Sh4.5 billion.
The government has allocated Sh17.58 billion and changed tack to realise its 2013 campaign promise of giving laptops to Standard One children. The amount allocated will now be used for computer laboratories to Standard Fours and Eights in all schools. Other activities will be development of content and training of teachers.

Standard one children were not give laptops in the last two Budgets due to legal procurement issues.
Sh32.7 billion has been allocated for free day secondary education and another Sh14.1 billion for free primary education.

Some 5,000 more teachers will be hired next year and Sh2.3 billion has been set aside for this in the race to reduce the ratio of pupils to teachers. Teachers will be promoted at a cost of Sh2.2 billion while Sh3 billion will go to technical institutes.

Schoolgirls will get Sh400 million worth of sanitary towels while children will be fed in schools at a cost of Sh1 billion. Some Sh 7.5 billion will go to education loans to university students through Helb.

Sh52.9 billion has been allocated for university education.
Health has been allocated Sh12.9 billion which will go to free primary health in dispensaries, maternal health and leasing medical equipment.


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