, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 24 – Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has maintained that there is no money to compensate the so-called Mau big fish.
Mr Kenyatta said on Thursday that Treasury was not in a position to pay out such monies, citing other priority projects like provision of relief food and water to those affected by drought.
The Deputy PM also downplayed the Mau taskforce report that was amended in Parliament to authorise compensation for all Mau title deed holders.
“The point is this- that is a report and there is a process through which budgetary allocations are made. There are Bills that are presented before the House (then) given assent by the President. So a report in itself is not necessarily a commitment to pay,” he said.
At a press conference in his Treasury office, Mr Kenyatta however said the government was processing the Sh1 billion that President Mwai Kibaki directed to be given to Mau evictees last week.
“As to when this will be given out will be determined by the availability of resources which will hopefully be sometime after the New Year,” Mr Kenyatta said.
The Deputy Prime Minister has been engaged in a war of words with Prime Minister Raila Odinga over the compensation issue with Mr Kenyatta denying knowledge of a Sh2 billion compensation plan for Mau land owners.
The Primier accused Mr Kenyatta of political mischief.
At the same time, Kenya received Sh5.2 billion for environmental conservation from the Danish government in a bid to eradicate poverty.
Mr Kenyatta said the funds would be used in the natural resources management programme which aimed to reduce livelihood vulnerability, poverty reduction and addressing the issue of climate change.
“This support is coming at a time when our country is faced by a number of challenges that require us as a country to pay more attention to the issue of how we can achieve sustainable economic development through conservation of our environment,” he said.
Danish ambassador Bo Jensen said the grant would commence in January 2010 but emphasised that it would not be used to resettle Mau squatters or pay out title deed holders.
“The government of Denmark has committed itself to continue supporting Kenya’s efforts towards protection of the environment and adaptation to climate change and we hope this support will contribute to the implementation of the vision 2030,” he said.