Controller Of Budget Recalls Being Coerced to Release Sh15bn Days to Polls

March 8, 2023

Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o claims the Treasury pressured her to sign out Sh15 billion just days before the August 2022 General Election.

Appearing before the Parliamentary Public Petitions Committee on Tuesday, Nyakang’o shared what she said were text conversations between her and former Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.

She claimed she was told to approve Sh6 billion for buying Telcos and Sh.9.5 billion from the annuity fund a few days before the August 9 polls.

The CS reportedly pushed for the release of funds to the Office of the President and Infrastructure Ministry.

Documents tabled before the committee showed that on August 4, 2022, CS Yatani wrote to Nyakang’o at 2:13 pm, saying: “Good Afternoon, please also facilitate similar approvals for infrastructure ministry for amounts of Ksgs8B (sic) and Ksh.2.B.”

One hour and 20 minutes later, at 3:33 pm: the CS reportedly sent her a photo and wrote “Please help us expedite this.”

A minute later, CS Yatani allegedly wrote: “H.E might even call you if we don’t deal with this by 4 pm.”

The committee heard that Nyakang’o wrote back: “Are you saying we have 26 minutes to complete the process?”

To which the CS allegedly replied: “He’s just called and I assured that I have spoken to you and that you promised by the end of the day.”

CS Yatani allegedly followed up at 3:37 pm, writing: “I know he will call you again. He persuaded some guys to resume work and promised that their bill be settled by today.”

The Controller of Budget then purportedly responded: “The timing requires up to tomorrow as I am still out of office.

In response to this, the CS allegedly said, “You need to devise how to deal with it. I am sorry but try.”

When asked why she could not decline, Margaret Nyakang’o told the committee “it is not a black-and-white, yes-and-no” situation.

“There are very many things that we have to weigh before you arrive at that decision. But what I am saying is that there are loopholes that need to be assessed and my office needs to be protected,” she argued.

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