Kenya spent Sh437.7 million in its failed bid to capture the African Union Commission chairmanship in a campaign fronted by Deputy President William Ruto.
Data submitted to Parliament shows that Sh437,776, 982 was spent in the campaigns, exceeding the set confidential expenditure by Sh52,095,299.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had earmarked Sh385,681,683 for expenditure linked to campaigns for the then Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed’s bid for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission (AUC) in the year to June 2017.
"AUC campaign expenditure as captured in the initial working schedules, however, stood at Sh437,776,982 which differs from the certified amount by Sh52,095,299, Macharia Kamau, the Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, told Parliament.
"This difference relates to the AUC campaigns conducted by the Deputy President and were initially charged under the AUC campaign funds, but were later transferred to State Visits expenditure," he added.
Ms Mohamed, now the Sports Cabinet Secretary, lost her bid to be the continent’s top diplomat to her Chad counterpart, Moussa Faki Mahamat, in a vote that took seven rounds to conclude.
Kenya campaigned across Africa with President Uhuru Kenyatta sending special envoys to all 53 countries in the continent.
Mr Kamau said the expenditure was confidential and refused to offer a breakdown of the AU campaign expenditure, arguing that it was a secret account.
"It is true that the statements on African Union Chairmanship campaigns as supported by the certificate issued by the Cabinet Secretary responsible for the Ministry as required under regulation 101(5) of the Public Financial Management (National Government) Regulations 2015 including, the supporting schedules and documents reflects confidential expenditure totalling Sh385,681,683.50 for the year 2016/2017," Mr Kamau said in submissions to the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The revelations are contained in a report on the examination of the audited financial statements of the national government for the year 2016/17 that was approved by Parliament on Thursday.
Mr Kamau told the committee, chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, that a further Sh50 million was incurred on a security operation relating to the AUC campaigns during the year under focus.
"This expenditure was rightfully classified as confidential as per the prescription at regulation 101(6) of the Public Financial Management Act (National Government) Regulations 2015, and therefore details of the same could not be disclosed," Mr Kamau said.
The Foreign ministry also procured tonners during the African Union Chairmanship campaign for use by the campaign secretariats.
The Auditor-General's office revealed that some 89 tonners purchased for Sh27,368,000 under the confidential expenditure item were overpriced by Sh9,857,800 over and above their prevailing market prices
Mr Kamau said although the items were procured under emergency conditions, they were sourced through quotations from prequalified suppliers under the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) programme, whereby prices charged include market prices plus a mark-up.