Parliament has questioned President Uhuru Kenyatta’s capacity to implement the Big Four agenda.
In a report called ‘Eyes on the Big Four’, the august House has raised the alarm over costly debts, poor government policies and implementation of devolution.
The report says Uhuru’s failure in security and governance has denied Kenyans value for their money.
“We normally prepare one [report] every year, when we receive budget estimates from the National Treasury,” National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai told the Star on the phone.
In this year’s budget watch report, the National Assembly says taxes on petroleum products and energy will trigger inflation.
“The challenge of post-election budgets is that they are typically expected to deliver too much, too soon and can end up being ‘broken promise’ budgets,” the 65-page report says.
The report says the Big Four projects are not new and will require critical focus after experiencing implementation problems.
The 2017-18 budget is Uhuru’s first after the disputed 2017 elections.
“The projects under the Big Four plan are not entirely new. Some have been mapped into existing projects and programmes, and are part of the Medium Term Plan III and ultimately, the Vision 2030,” the report says.
“Central to the economic growth and revenue projection of financial year 2018/2019 is the stability of key macroeconomic fundamentals.”
The MPs want the state to tame Inflation, encourage more Kenyans in the diaspora to remit and stabilise interest rates. Parliament notes that although the Big Four agenda has great benefits to the country, “it might fail to propel the economy to higher growth and development”.
Parliament has in the recent past been criticised for failing to oversight the Executive and to hold it to account, especially in budgeting.
“The health function is fully devolved and as such, the counties carry a great onus towards the achievement of 100 per cent universal health care coverage for all households by the year 2022. The interventions in the agenda to be carried out by the county governments have not been expressly stated,” the report says. The Big Four plan, the report notes, will largely depend on a successful partnership between the national government and the counties.
It is, however, not clear to what extent the counties have aligned their budgets with the Big Four agenda.
“Indeed, some counties may not view the agenda as their primary objective,” it notes.
Some of the challenges experienced by irrigation schemes include low budgetary allocations, unreliable water supply, problems with water pumping, mismanagement and generally poor returns.
Any drop in the allocation of resources by the national government affects agriculture, which is a devolved function.
“Any interventions to improve agriculture should be carried out in collaboration with the county governments,” the report notes.