, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 7 – The High Court has given Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta the green light to deliver his 2011/2012 Budget Speech after dismissing a case filed to block it.
Justice Jeanne Gacheche gave Mr Kenyatta the go ahead to read the Sh1.15 trillion Budget on Wednesday after dismissing the application by activist Ndung\’u Wainaina as \’premature.\’
Mr Wainaina had sued Mr Kenyatta for breaching the Constitution by failing to submit the estimates to Parliament 60 days before the end of the financial year.
Mr Wainaina has sued Mr Kenyatta alongside the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Attorney General for contravening the Constitution by failing to submit to the National Assembly estimates of Revenue and Expenditure as required by the Constitution two months to the end of the current Financial Year.
Mr Wainaina said failure by Mr Kenyatta to submit the Estimates had denied him his constitutional right to contribute to the budget making process of.
The Executive Director of the International Centre for Policy and Conflict had also sought orders to compel Mr Kenyatta to immediately submit budgetary estimates for the financial year commencing July 2011 to the National Assembly.
Chapter Five, Article 22, of the Constitution indicates that the Finance Ministry should submit the estimates two months before the actual budget reading.
Two weeks ago, the Charles Nyachae-led Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution said the responsibility to correct the delayed submission of budgetary estimates lay squarely with the Finance Minister and it was up to him to provide a way forward on the matter.
Last week Mr Kenyatta downplayed the current row over his intention to present the country\’s Budget and termed it "just a formality."
While addressing journalists in Nairobi on Thursday, he explained that the Budget was ready and had been presented to the Parliamentary Budget Committee for perusal.
The 2011/2012 Budget, which stands at Sh1.155 trillion, will go towards youth empowerment, infrastructure, food security, the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons as well as next year\’s elections," revealed the Minister.
"June 8 still stands. If the Speaker wants to rule against it, there is no issue. And whether I stand on the floor of the House to read a Budget or not read a Budget… the Budget is here; you can begin its interrogation," he quipped.
Mr Kenyatta in his defence over the delay said the country should understand that the Constitution implementation was a gradual process and estimates were not ready on time, adding that full compliance would be met in subsequent budgets.
He also said that the June 8 date was reached after consultation with other East African Community members.