Education sector reaps big in budget proposal; anti-graft bodies’ funding to sustain corruption war

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Treasury CS Henry Rotich and Majority Leader Aden Duale (centre) before the 2019/2020 budget estimates presentation in parliament. Photo/Courtesy
Treasury CS Henry Rotich and Majority Leader Aden Duale (centre) before the 2019/2020 budget estimates presentation in parliament. Photo/Courtesy

All talk has shifted to how the government has tightened the pockets of the poor in the country after Treasury CS Henry Rotich tabled the 2019/2020 budget in parliament. The 15% increase of excise duty on wines, whisky and cigarettes, the introduction of excise duty on betting and the requirement for all boda boda and tuk tuk operators to procure insurance covers for their customers will definitely milk Kenyans, targetings sectors that are a permanent fixture for many. However, some sectors have enjoyed sufficient allocation, most notably the education sector, which received Kshs 208.9 billion.

The free secondary education program has received Kshs 55.4 billion, Kshs 13.4 billion for free primary education and Kshs 1.5 billion for improving infrastructure in primary and secondary schools and Kshs 4 billion to cater for medical cover for secondary students. TSC has also reaped big specifically after Kshs 3.2 billion was set aside for recruitment of new teachers. Kshs 10.3 billion has been allocated for tuition and Kshs 4 billion for the exam fee waiver for primary and secondary schools national exam candidates. The higher education sector was also on the spot, with Kshs 97.7 billion set aside to support university education, Kshs 12.6 billion channelled to the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and Kshs 6.8 billion for construction and equipping of technical institutions.

The war on corruption has been the talk of the government for some time now, with President Uhuru Kenyatta insisting graft must be tamed. The budget estimates for anti-graft bodies suggests the wheels aren’t coming out anytime soon. Kshs 2.9 billion has been allocated to EACC, Kshs 3 billion to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kshs 7.1 billion to the criminal investigations department and Kshs 50 billion to the assets recovery agency. The Judiciary received Kshs 19.4 billion, while Parliament received Kshs 40.5 billion.