Kenya: Ministers rapped over luxury spending

2013 protest against MP's pay Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Protesters took to the streets in 2013 over MPs' pay

Government ministers and members of parliament in Kenya are defying their president's order to cut down on spending on luxury items, it seems.

Officials spent over 7.4bn shillings (£50m; $84m) on travel, hospitality and cars in the first nine months of the financial year despite an austerity drive, Kenya's Business Daily Africa newspaper reports. According to the country's Controller of Budget, 1.58bn shillings (£10.6m; $18m) went into foreign travel, going against President Uhuru Kenyatta's order which requires senior officials to cut public spending and save money. Cars, hospitality and travel topped the president's list of luxury items to be cut in a programme which has shaved the equivalent of £182m from government expenditure.

However, the president's own office is not immune from criticism. According to Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo, "the presidency had the highest expenditure on purchase of motor vehicles at 253m shillings", the equivalent of £1.7m. The president and his deputy William Ruto are yet to implement the offer of a 20% pay cut which was made in March, Business Daily Africa reported.

Kenya's MPs are among the highest paid in Africa, and the issue is reportedly highly sensitive in the country.

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