Treasury cuts budget for First Lady, Rachel Ruto offices by Ksh281 million

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (r) with Deputy President's Wife Rachel Ruto. [Photo courtesy]

Starting July next year when 2021/2022 financial year commences, the National Treasury will reduce the budgetary allocations in the offices of First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Rachel Ruto, Deputy President William Ruto’s wife.  

The Treasury will reduce the allocation of the two offices by 39 percent (Ksh281 million) in a move aimed at cutting down on non-essential spending following COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Business Daily, the documents were tabled before Parliament on Thursday last week where allocations on travel, entertainment, fuel, and purchase of vehicles for these two offices have been cut.

For First Lady, her office’s domestic and foreign travel allocation has been reduced to Ksh37.9 million (54 percent drop) while entertainment and hospitality has an allocation of Ksh90.9 million from the current Ksh101 million.

For DP Ruto wife’s office, domestic and foreign travel has been allocated Ksh51 million while entertainment and hospitality has a budget of Ksh17.2 million down from Ksh34.5 million. This is about 50 percent reduction.

In these two offices, salaries took up the bulk of the budget since the Jubilee administration took power in 2013.

First Lady’s office had a budget of Ksh426.1 million while that of Rachel Ruto got Ksh 297.4 million.

Before Jubilee came to power, the First Lady’s office got Sh114.4 million which quickly rose to Ksh426.1 million while that of the DP’s wife would get Ksh72.9 million but shot to Sh297 million.

With the new austerity measures, Kenyatta’s office will get an allocation of Sh238.8 million while Rachel Ruto’s will get Ksh213.6 million.

The new allocations could see these offices cut down on their staff. Of the current Ksh297.4 million allocation to Rachel Ruto’s office, Ksh126 million goes to salaries.

In the First Lady’s office, salaries and travel take up about 78 percent of the Sh426 million allocation while hospitality gobbles up about Ksh191 million.

The government is hell-bent on enforcing austerity in government ministries and offices in the wake of reduced tax collection as a result of a hurting economy from the novel coronavirus.