, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 3 – The Cabinet has approved Sh17.5 billion requested by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to hold the next general elections.
The Cabinet also directed the employment of 10,000 teachers annually, an extra 7,000 police officers and the purchase of additional police vehicles plus the hiring of 900 doctors, nurses and health workers.
“The Cabinet recommended that the IEBC be allocated the full Sh17.5 billion it has requested in order to ensure a smooth, credible, peaceful, free and fair election,” the meeting held under the chairmanship of President Mwai Kibaki at State House Nairobi resolved.
The talks approved an allocation of Sh3.4 billion for the hiring of teachers.
“Subsequently an additional 10,000 teachers will be recruited annually to deal with the current shortage. Sh3.1 billion be allocated for recruitment of 900 doctors, nurses and health workers. Sh5 billion be used for the implementation of the second phase of allowances for doctors, nurses and health workers. Sh2.5 billion for recruitment of 7,000 police officers. Additional police vehicles will also be purchased,” a dispatch from State House said.
Following the rising security threats, the Cabinet also recommended the scaling up of investments in the security and intelligence sectors in a bid to make the country adequately secure before, during and after the elections.
At the same time the Executive moved to strengthen the fight against corruption and agreed to support the urgent reconstruction of the anti-corruption commission as stipulated in the Constitution.
“In this regard the Cabinet resolved that the government will table before Parliament a Motion seeking approval of the confirmation of Mumo Matemu, Jane Onsongo and Irene Keino as commissioners of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.”
Other issues the Cabinet discussed and approved include allocation of emergency funds for the re-construction of roads that have been damaged by the ongoing rains.
The agricultural sector will get additional funding. “This should be utilised for the immediate purchase of maize from local farmers. The national grain reserve to be built up to 4 million bags as strategic reserves and another 4 million as a revolving reserve held by the NCPB,” the Cabinet brief stated.
The animal off-take program will also begin immediately. The Cabinet advised livestock keepers to sell off their extra herd before the dry spell and when their animals can fetch good prices. The Kenya Meat Commission was advised to utilise the meat and produce canned beef for both local and international markets.
The Cabinet also resolved to support KCC and other milk processors to purchase milk during the glut period and transform it into powder milk for use as strategic reserves during the periods of reduced milk supply.
The Cabinet also approved a number of bills and a Sessional paper.
Among them is the Public Service Commission Bill 2012. The commission will be charged with the responsibility of establishing and abolishing offices in the public service, appointments, disciplinary control and removal of public servants and the promotion of values and principles under articles 10 and 232 of the constitution throughout the public service.
The other is the Teachers Service Commission Bill 2012 which will establish a commission responsible for reviewing standards of education and training of persons entering the teaching service, review the demand and supply of teachers and advise the national government on matters related to the teaching profession.
The Sessional Paper on National Values and Principles of Governance seeks to foster national unity, inculcate patriotism and promote accountability in accordance with the constitution. The paper provides guidelines for the government, non state actors and the citizens on actions and plans to be undertaken to mainstream national values and principles of governance to ensure that shared values become a way of life. Once the Sessional paper is approved a bill will be prepared. The bill will be critical to the vetting of future leaders.
In a bid to cut government expenditure, the Executive resolved that austerity measures such as the purchase of luxury vehicles should apply to all arms of government.
Budgets of all arms of government will also be subject to scrutiny by taxpayers.
“The Cabinet also issued a cautionary statement on funds that will be set aside for salaries of public officers. It was observed the need to cap the total allocation for salaries and recurrent expenditure top allow for adequate funds for the nations development agenda. The capping of salaries should also apply to the many independent commissions,” the brief stated.
The Cabinet also tasked the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to move with haste to ensure that the total wage bill does not threaten the nation’s macro- economic stability.
“The Cabinet noted the need for a reduction in bank lending rates. In this regard the Cabinet told the finance minister to work towards a single digit inflation rate,” the dispatch said.
The Cabinet further noted that the country’s economic prospects looked good with a projected economic growth rate of 6 percent while revenue collection was projected to increase to Sh954 billion up from Sh794 billion.