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Government struggles to stave of opulent reputation

06 March 2014, 16:23 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The government is trying its best to shrug off increasing perceptions that it is a high spending operation with the cabinet retreat in Nanyuki not making things any better.

Treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich has fervently denied perceptions that government bodies are spending public money badly.

Rotich has been in the spotlight following the hosting of a cabinet retreat at the expensive and exclusive Mt Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki.

With the high cost factor involved and in these times of economic struggles for normal Kenyans, the move has been criticized by many who feel the government is out of touch with reality.

And this especially after the cabinet secretary himself issued a directive stating that any over spending within government will not be tolerated.

" The directive stands and there is no allowance of high spending in this government. There needs to be an explanation as to why someone has spent a certain amount and it has to be within limit, he had earlier said.

The Hustler's jet saga last year in which Deputy President William Ruto was accused of spending too much on private jet travel drew a response out of Rotich who said the government would crack down on such behaviour.

" We have directed all government agencies to stay within a strict government spending structure.

But with pressure mounting after millions were spent in taking care of the cabinet in their current stay in Nanyuki, Rotich issued another statement, this time taking a softer stand on his earlier directives.

" While the Treasury circular issued in December 2013 was aimed at guiding ministries and departments on the economical use of budget resources, it provides for exceptions in the event of special circumstances. We wish to assure the general public that the government is devoted to the prudent use of resources," he said.

But with the move to go to Mt Kenya already taken and with other cheaper choices neglected, Rotich and the government's plea's are likely to fall on deaf ears.

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