Treasury CS Yattani downplays CJ Maraga's fight over budget cuts

Wednesday November 06 2019

Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani. He has denied allegations that the National Treasury has slashed funds allocated to the Judiciary. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The National Treasury says it is shocked by Chief Justice David Maraga’s recent outbursts over Judiciary budget cuts.

Acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani says he least expected the president of the Supreme Court to air his frustrations on national television.

In any case, he said, there were earlier plans for a meeting between him and the apex judge to seek the way forward.


“I was equally shocked at the kind of public address by the Judiciary,” Mr Yatani said in an interview with a local TV.

“What they should have done is just to seek an appointment here, we sit with them, take them through the journey and see areas we can mitigate.”


A similar meeting, he said, was held with the National Assembly and the Parliamentary Service Commission on Tuesday.

“If our revenue has fallen short of the target by certain amount, which arm of the government should bear the whole responsibility?” said Mr Yatani.

He said the Treasury had not slashed budgets for any arm of the government but had instead introduced a raft of austerity measures to ensure prudent use of resources.

“I can confidently tell you we have not reduced the budget for the Judiciary or the National Assembly,” he said.

“What we have done, we have instituted measures that we continue funding activities and programmes based on availability of the exchequer.”

According the Treasury, the move is aimed at ensuring that the available resources are shared across all arms of government and their departments.

“You can have your money, you can even carry it forward, but we will release money to you based on what we can afford at that period,” he said.

“We cannot now service only one organisation and leave all others. We have equally important compelling activities that run in this country on a day to day basis including healthcare, water, infrastructure.”

Regarding reports that government was planning on taking fourth Eurobond, the Treasury CS said the government was exploring other options to cushion the country from accumulating more debts.

“This misconception that we want to borrow and we will bloat the economy isn’t the case. We have realised our debt portfolio can be better,” he said.

“We have bilateral, commercial and multilateral loans. Multilateral loans are reasonable they give us good grace period and longer repayment time at low interest as low as 0.7 percent and that is the direction we want to take,” he said.


He also supported Parliament and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to scrap bank interest rate caps.

“The decision for interest cap was a good idea meant to enable private sector to borrow at reasonable interest rate so they can engage job creation and investment,” he said.