By: Vivian Bundi

The budget allocations for the offices of the President’s wife and the Deputy President’s wife have always been a point of interest and debate. The recent increases and decreases in these budgets reflect shifting priorities and economic realities. In my opinion, the significant budget allocated to these offices is not justified, especially compared to the previous years. This stance is based on the need for fiscal responsibility, prioritization of essential services, and the importance of maintaining transparency in government spending.

The recent budget allocation for First Lady Rachel Ruto’s office has increased the original amount by 17.3 out of every 100 units, reaching Sh696.6 million (  for the new financial year starting July. This is a notable rise from the Sh593.9 million allocated in the current financial year. A substantial portion of this increase is directed towards the payment of salaries. While it is important to support the initiatives undertaken by the First Lady, such as environmental and climate action, financial inclusion, and women empowerment, the significant increase raises concerns about fiscal responsibility. The government must ensure that such budget increases are justified by tangible outcomes and not merely by expanding administrative costs.

By: T-One Tv Kenya

In contrast, the budget for the spouse of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has decreased from Sh717.6 million to Sh557.5 million ( This reduction follows a substantial increase through a mini-budget tabled in the National Assembly in October of the previous year. Despite this reduction, the combined budget for the First Lady and the Deputy President’s wife will total Sh1.2 billion in the new fiscal year, slightly down from Sh1.3 billion this year. This allocation needs to be scrutinized in light of other pressing national priorities such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure development. The government should consider whether these funds could be better utilized in areas that have a more direct impact on the well-being of the general population.

Comparing these allocations with the budgets during the Kenyatta administration provides further insights. In the year starting 2013, the combined budget for the offices of the First Lady and the Deputy President’s wife was Sh187.3 million. By the end of the Kenyatta administration, this budget had grown to Sh723.6 million, reflecting an increase of 286 percent. Specifically, the budget for Mrs. Kenyatta’s office increased from Sh114.4 million to Sh426.1 million, while that of the Deputy President’s spouse increased from Sh72.9 million to Sh297 million.

This dramatic rise in budget allocations was primarily directed towards recurrent expenditures such as salaries, travel expenses, and hospitality. Despite calls for cuts in non-essential spending during the Kenyatta administration, the budgets for these offices continued to grow. This trend raises questions about the prioritization of spending and the necessity of such substantial allocations for non-essential functions.

The need for transparency in government spending is paramount. The increased allocation to the First Lady’s office under Rachel Ruto and the significant budget for the Deputy President’s wife must be justified with clear, measurable outcomes. Mrs. Ruto’s initiatives, including the Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) program aiming to mentor and train 90,000 women in financial inclusion by July 2025, are commendable. Similarly, Mrs. Rigathi’s focus on empowering the boy child and her targets of identifying and screening 12,000 boys for drugs and substance abuse are important. However, the effectiveness and efficiency of these programs must be transparently evaluated to justify the substantial budgets allocated.

The current economic context cannot be ignored when discussing these budget allocations. Government revenue shortfalls and reduced economic activity necessitate careful consideration of all expenditures. In the first nine months of the current financial year, government revenue fell short by Sh97.7 billion, forcing the Treasury to cut budgeted funds for development projects by nearly Sh34.37 billion. Given this economic backdrop, it is imperative to question whether the significant budgets allocated to the offices of the First Lady and the Deputy President’s wife are the best use of limited resources.

In conclusion, while the offices of the First Lady and the Deputy President’s wife undertake important initiatives, the substantial budget allocations they receive need rigorous scrutiny. The comparison with previous years highlights a trend of increasing budgets that may not be fully justified by the outcomes. In a time of economic challenges, fiscal responsibility, prioritization of essential services, and transparency in spending are more important than ever. The government must ensure that every shilling spent contributes to the greater good of the nation, rather than expanding administrative budgets without clear, tangible benefits.

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