Former Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow claimed that the Jubilee administration resorted to bribery to pass its bills in Parliament at a time when they were under massive pressure from the opposition.
The government, then led by former president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, reportedly used Ksh3 billion to bribe the members of parliament in 2015.
According to Kerrow who served as the Chair of the Senate and Budget Committee, the government outsourced the unbudgeted funds from Treasury.
The parliamentary committee for budget and appropriations was given Ksh3 billion so that they can approve some things and we spent a whole afternoon in Senate discussing how could the National Assembly accept to be bribed,” he recalled while speaking at the Senate induction retreat in Naivasha on Thursday, September 22.
“Treasury, which always works in coalition with the National Assembly provided a bribe, and I’ll use that because it was a headline in the local media at that time,” Kerrow added.
The lawmaker while citing the Goldenberg Scandal which he opined was orchestrated without detection, further argued that lack of transparency was one of the major flaws in the Treasury.
“Budget transparency is very important and I think it is a matter that I think we should always focus on because items should be itemized and be very clear, and that is what the principles the Public Service Management Act provides,” Kerrow remarked.
Following the incident, Kerrow questioned the independence of the Budget Committee arguing that it was to be blamed for opaque financial budgets.
“That shows you the degree at which the Treasury sometimes go to try and influence the legislature in the same way that county governors will try and influence the county assembly so that they can get a few things included,” the former senator exclaimed.
Uhuru’s government hit headlines for allegations of misappropriation of taxpayers’ money. From the National Youth Service to the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency, Eurobond I and II scandals.
It was also accused of inflating road projects and conducting shady controversial deals such as the Standard Gauge Railway.
Uhuru’s successor, William Ruto and his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, as well claimed that they inherited a broke government and a dilapidated economy. Their allies also alleged that Uhuru left Ruto Ksh93 million only at the Treasury.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani, however, dismissed allegations that Uhuru left Ksh 93 million for the Ruto-Rigathi administration.
“We should not depict individuals or regimes in a bad light. Let’s counter-check this with the development that we have made for our people. Under the previous regime where I served and up to date, our means have been extremely good,” Yatani urged.