18 September 2018

Kenya: Dissolve the Cabinet, Musalia Mudavadi Tells Uhuru Kenyatta

Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi now wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve his Cabinet and re-engineer it to what he says should be a new team to manage Kenya.

Mr Mudavadi, a former finance minister, said the current situation on the budget, after the president returned the Finance Bill to the House, is self-inflicted "due to lack of fiscal discipline."

REENGINEERING

"In situations of paralysis like this, governments resign or dissolve . . . What the President needs is, in his words, "not politics". He needs pragmatic, predictable and consistent financial management. He must dissolve to re-engineer government," Mr Mudavadi said in a press statement on Tuesday.

The president rejected the Bill and on Friday termed what MPs did as "taking the easy path, instead of rising to the challenges of our time."

The Bill, he said, was "good politics, but bad leadership."

Mr Kenyatta's memorandum on his reasons for rejecting the Bill will be tabled in the House on Tuesday afternoon.

MPs will debate and vote on it on Thursday in line with instructions by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, who recalled them from recess for two special sittings.

'EXTRAVAGANT LOANS'

The president wants MPs to halve to eight per cent, the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products, as well as make budget cuts in various sectors to finance an ambitious budget and pay debts, now past the Sh5 trillion mark.

The ANC leader said he supports the halving of the VAT but that the proposals by the president on the other budget cuts had "cancelled out this magnanimity."

"If corruption, pilferage, looting and wastage can be contained in government, those funds can cover budget shortfalls and even service debts comfortably," Mr Mudavadi said.

He went on: "This disaffection within and outside the government, concerning lack of consistent fiscal policies, is pervasive. But the Jubilee government is living in denial over the rampage borrowing spree that has boomeranged.

Mr Mudavadi further said that the current level of debt came to being because of expensive borrowing by the government, with short repayment periods, and that "the extravagant project loans are not making a return that can service them [and are] instead consuming more loans".

"A huge portion of the loans is pilfered. To date, Kenyans have never been told what Eurobond I, rescheduled and now again due for repayment, was used for," he said.

"It is the Treasury that shocked Kenyans with the admission that it didn't know what government departments did with their share of the Eurobond [money] disbursed to them. Of course, this was sheer despondency."

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