Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Finance ministers: Some spent years, others months at Treasury

Photos/FILE  Previous Finance ministers from left: Mwai Kibaki (1969-1982), Musalia Mudavadi (1993-1997) and David Mwiraria (Jan 2003-Feb 2006)

Photos/FILE/NATION Previous Finance ministers from left: Mwai Kibaki (1969-1982), Musalia Mudavadi (1993-1997) and David Mwiraria (Jan 2003-Feb 2006) 

By NATION REPORTER

James Gichuru (1963-1969): He banned repatriation of wealth to South Africa and Zimbabwe for fear that repatriation would undermine Kenya’s economy.

Mwai Kibaki (1969-1982): The man who would be Kenya’s third President was at Treasury for 12 years. The West toyed with the idea of giving him a job at the IMF.

Arthur Magugu (1982-1988): He is remembered as the only minister who postponed the date for reading the budget.

George Saitoti (1988-1992): He presided over a Treasury that struggled with inflation. This was also when the Goldenberg scandal cost Kenya billions of shillings.

Musalia Mudavadi (1993-1997): He is most remembered for mopping up excess money printed by Kanu for campaigns before the 1992 General Election.

Simeon Nyachae (1998-1999): He took over the Treasury by storm and left in a huff when President Moi transferred him, apparently angered by his remarks that “Kenya’s economy was in ICU”.

Francis Masakhalia (Feb 1999-Aug 1999): A lacklustre minister, he read only one budget before being removed.

Chris Okemo (Sep 1999-Nov 2001): He became popular for the little action of removing tax on bicycles, also known as boda boda, used for taxi business.

Chris Obure(Nov 2001-Dec 2002): He read the last budget under President Moi’s regime.

David Mwiraria (Jan 2003-Feb 2006): Under his watch, the Anglo Leasing scandal exploded, leading to his resignation.

Amos Kimunya (Feb 2006-2008): He left the Treasury following furore on the questionable sale of Grand Regency Hotel, now Laico Regency, to a Libyan company.

Uhuru Kenyatta (2009 to date): After reading only one budget under the old Constitution, he is the last Finance minister before the new Constitution comes fully into force.

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