Embassies face ruin over Sh15 billion shortfall

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma presents budget policy statement when she appeared before Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Foreign relations committee. February 20, 2019. Photo/Jack Owuor

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma presents budget policy statement when she appeared before Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Foreign relations committee. February 20, 2019. Photo/Jack Owuor

A number of Kenya’s consulates risk ruin or closure after the government failed to allocate Sh13.1 billion to upgrade them.

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma yesterday delivered the bad news to MPs and complained of a Sh15 billion budget shortfall in the ministry.

Treasury allocated the ministry Sh15.5 billion, despite its request for Sh37.4 billion to fund its projects, including a new diplomatic missions and payment of salaries.

The affected missions are in Djibouti, Accra, Maputo, Jakarta, Rabat and Dakar as well as consulates general in Guangzhou, Mumbai and Lagos. They have been allocated Sh600 million against the required Sh3.4 billion.

The ministry also sought Sh3.5 billion for upgrading headquarters. Juma said the situation subjects the ministry to pending bills.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also failed to secure Sh500 million to cushion it against foreign exchange shocks. It did not receive Sh380 million for vehicles to be used by visiting diplomats.

Juma told the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee that the ministry should not be viewed to be engaging in ‘luxurious’ spending.

The CS said the budget cuts will adversely affect the ministry’s operations and plans to finish works on the established missions and to develop others. It has been allocated Sh1.9 billion for development. “We won’t see the growth we aspire for if we don’t spread our wings.”

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