Lobby groups want Government to disclose public debt details

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and the Institute of Social Accountability (TISA) Kenya, have petitioned the High court to compel the government to produce information on Kenya’s public debt.

They claim their efforts to seek the information from National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani via a letter dated 7th February this year have been ignored prompting them to move to court.

In a petition filed at the High Court on Thursday against the CS Yatani and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, KHRC and TISA argue that Treasury CS has taken expensive loans bilaterally from States, international financial institutions, and corporations over the past decade.

They claim the Executive has not been transparent in its floating of domestic and international bonds, contrary to constitutional requirements for public disclosure of all public borrowing.

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They also argued that this goes against Article 201(a) of the constitution which requires openness, accountability and public participation in public financial matters, and Section 5 (e) of the Access to Information Act, which obligates public entities to publish on their websites or other suitable media any contracts they have signed.

Elsewhere, the elections will bill held on the 9th of August 2022 as slated after a petition challenging its constitutionality was thrown out.

Former nominated Senator Paul Njoroge had moved to court arguing that the date was imposed on Kenyans and that the decision was made when the IEBC was improperly constituted, as it did not have a Chief Executive Officer and lacked quorum of its commissioners.

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Njoroge further argued that as of 9thof August this year, the terms of the president and his deputy will not have lapsed since the last elections were held on the 26thof October 2017.

Justice Antony Mrima of the High Court ruled that the date was constitutional as General Elections are to be held every 2ndTuesday of August after every 5 years.

Meanwhile, the high court has told the electoral body to come up with regulations and necessary spending limits during elections.

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Justice Antony Mrima ruled that the regulation of the amount of money that may be spent by or on behalf of a candidate or party in respect of any election is not a constitutional but a statutory instrument.

He also declared Section 29(i) of the Election campaign financing act unconstitutional as it contravenes Article 88(4) of the constitution in requiring parliamentary approval of the regulations before gazettement.

He also declared that sections 12, 18, and 19 of the elections financing Act must be subjected to public engagement.

  

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