Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has addressed the claims made by Kenya Kwanza presidential running mate Rigathi Gachagua regarding the misuse of funds channeled to the Kazi Mtaani programme that he claimed were being diverted to campaigns.
Gachagua had claimed that the government was underpaying beneficiaries of the programme, handing only Kshs 450 as daily pay instead of Kshs 1000 as stated in a report that he and other MPs allied to the Kenya Kwanza Alliance were privy to.
Kibicho maintained that as a matter of fact the Kshs 450 was budgeted for under the National Hygiene Programme and insisted that it has remained the same since the programme was rolled out in 2020.
He hence asked Rigathi and his entourage comprising Kiharu Member of Parliament, Ndindi Nyoro, and other lawmakers aligned to the alliance to back their claims and publicize the said report that claimed that government allocated Kshs 1000 daily to each youth engaged in the programme.
"I would want them to produce the Hansard report confirming their argument that indeed, MPs legislated the amount they claim. This should be fairly easy to prove as the National Assembly is a House of records," the PS stated.
Kibicho who was speaking in an interview with a local radio station on Tuesday, June 14, noted that the 530,608 beneficiaries of the programme have received the same amount since its launch and that claims of using the finds to lure in voters were false as the programme was decentralised right from recruitment to the acquisition of the job.
“How is it possible to know which youth is allied to which politician as a condition to getting these jobs? The recruitments are being undertaken at the lowest level of administration by chiefs and their assistants who are best placed to know the most deserving for the available slots,” Kibicho maintained.
On the part of Rigathi's controversial remarks regarding police uniforms, the PS faulted the prospective deputy President for the statements ,asking him to refrain from mocking the church after likening the uniforms with those donned by women from a particular religious group.
He further defended that move to change the uniform by the government as it revived the local textile industry that has in turn curtailed cartels that have benefited from entrenched corruption in government procurement.
"The policy has tremendously grown the local textile industry and created many direct and indirect jobs that support thousands of families. Our officers now are better kitted at much lower costs,” Kibicho stated , adding that this was decision arrived at through consultation between Administration Police and the Kenya Police Force.