By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
For any questionable expenditure malpractices in the government, we have a right as Kenyan citizens and tax payers to voice our concerns because in the long run, if we fail, it will affect the larger spectrum of our country’s economic growth.
Therefore, knowing the way the government spends our taxes is not a preserve for those in government but a responsibility for every citizen.
For purposes of fiscal accountability and effective management of our taxes by the government, those tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that all is well in the exchequer need to conduct an audit to divulge how the costs incurred on the ongoing ICC case of the deputy President William Ruto, and the shuttle diplomacy for deferral are paid off.
Kenyans need to know who incurred the costs for the recent delegation to the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, whose purpose was not the good of Kenya but to rally the AU for the deferral of the cases facing President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy at The Hague.
Secondly, the current delegation in New York which encompasses our national diplomats and several others from other African nations supporting Kenya for the deferral like Rwanda and Ethiopia is a costly affair. We need to know if Uhuru and Ruto are meeting these expenses and not Kenyan tax payers.
Besides, its note worthy that our two leaders are engaging the most expensive lawyers in the world in their cases. Kenyans will want to know who is meeting the hefty legal fees since not many people can afford to hire Stephen Kay, who is also the Queen’s Counsel and the combative Karim Khan for Uhuru and Ruto respectively.
Lastly, the travel and accommodation expenses for MPs who have been accompanying the Deputy President to the Netherlands, is now in a tune of millions. We also need to know who is footing the heavy bill since we all know that, life in Europe is extremely expensive which is often characterized by their strong currency- the Euro.
I’m not trying to imply that our two leaders cannot afford the said expenses but as a nation moving towards high levels of transparency and accountability in the way we conduct our national affairs, it’s better for the tax payers to know who is responsible for the high costs related to the current predicaments facing the President and his deputy.
Uhuru and Ruto are among the few billionaires we have in Kenya, but if they get a loophole to use our taxes for their cases, they may not touch their wallets. This is solid reality if the hustler’s jet scandal which cost Kenya taxpayers a whooping 25 million shillings for Ruto, is something to go by.
Since the ICC is a personal problem to the President and his deputy as they told the nation during the campaigns, wananchi don’t need to pay a penny for the delegation currently in New York and the recent one in Ethiopia. We therefore can’t pay for their personal cases when we are paying for their salaries and heavy benefits.
As taxpayers, we risk losing billions before the end of the ICC cases thus, the need not to assume that all is well, when a stitch in time saves nine.
Finally, as a concerned Kenyan, I evoke the Parliamentary Budget and Appropriations Committee, the Public Accounts Committee and the Auditor General to tell the nation the truth on the above. May they effectively monitor government spending lest we end up crying.
This is not an accusation and I do not have any evidence to conclude that our leaders have used state resources in their ICC cases.