Here is Raila Odinga’s opinion piece that Statehouse Chief of Staff is alleged to have admittedly agreed that as Teachers’ strike has made Uhuru vulnerable with all the contradictions becoming clear to common man.
Uhuru top political advisor has intimated that Uhuru big threat is NOT Raila but the now aggressive Mt Kenya voters.
In the opinion peace below, Raila exposes key facts about the government wage bill vs revenue collection, Court law ruling among others.
By Raila Odinga
The point we have been making these last two years about the leadership deficit in Government has arrived at our doorsteps with a bang.
Teachers have demanded a fair dayâ€™s pay for a fair dayâ€™s work. The Supreme Court agreed that they deserve it. President Uhuru Kenyatta responded with canâ€™t pay, wonâ€™t pay.
Then on Friday, the Employment and Labour Relations Court directed the two teachers unions to suspend the strike and resume teaching. The government immediately announced schools would reopen on Monday. Suddenly, court rulings are sacred to the Jubilee administration.
Therein lies the crisis we have been warning about.
We have a crisis when a government chooses when to obey and when to disobey the courts. Disregard for the law, coupled with governance through deliberate distortions are manifestations of failed leadership.
When I addressed the solidarity rally at Uhuru Park last Wednesday, I said the times demand that we speak candidly and decisively, truthfully and frankly, honestly and boldly.
I still maintain that President Uhuru Kenyatta has been lying to Kenyans and, lately, about our wage bill. The President has been dishonest in his refusal to pay teachers. We are watching to see how he deals with his own dishonesty and selective application of the law now that the courts have asked teachers to abandon the strike.
By what authority will the President now ask teachers to respect the Friday court ruling having disobeyed the ruling by the Supreme Court himself?
Certain core principles remain central to the success of any nation. Honesty and the right conduct at every level of society, including government are critical. Belief in doing what is right no matter the cost is key to creating a moral and caring nation.
It is what makes a leader take action that puts his chances for re-election at risk, but which is right and good for the country. Indulging in lies to lead a nation is a manifestation of a deeper hidden problem. The wage bill monologue is a lie. I have been in government with the current President as my Finance Minister and the two of us know the facts.
In the 2012/ 2013 financial year, the last year of the Grand Coalition Government, our tax revenue was Sh807 billion. In the last financial year, it was Sh1.16 trillion. It is projected at Sh1.25 trillion this financial year, 2015/2016.
This yearâ€™s revenue budget is Sh443 billion more than that of the last Grand Coalition Government revenue. Yet the Government is telling us that out of a revenue increase of Sh443 (55 per cent) we cannot find Sh17 billion for teachers. And the President expects us to agree with him.
The published budget for Government wage bill for the current financial year is Sh329 billion, out of a recurrent budget of Sh987 billion and total budget of Sh1.88 trillion. This works out to 33 per cent of recurrent, 17.5 per cent of total budget and 26 per cent of revenue.
We can add county governments and parastatals and the figures will still tell a different story from the one Jubilee is hawking. For the year 2015/2016, the 47 county governments plan to spend Sh103 billion on salaries. Parastatals will spend Sh87 billion, giving a total of Sh519 billion for salaries for all public employees in national government, parastatals and county governments.
The total employment and public wage for calendar year 2014 as published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics are as follows:
National Government: Sh85 billion.
Teachers: Sh145 billion
Counties: Sh62 billion
Parastatals: Sh77 billion
This adds up to Sh370 billion
This is only 32 per cent of last yearâ€™s revenue. Yet when the President addressed the nation last Sunday, he said our wage bill stood at Sh568 billion. Where did he get that figure? How did he arrive at 52 per cent as the percentage of revenue spent on the public wage bill in the year 2014/2015?
If the Government paid Sh568 billion wage bill last year and has budgeted Sh329 billion for salaries this year, then it would appear the Government wage bill is falling. Why then would the president say it is rising? The figures quoted above from the Governmentâ€™s own records indicate that our public wage bill is only 32 per cent of revenue. This is below the global average of 35 per cent for middle-income countries that the President cited. This means the issue of wage bill sustainability or damaging the economy is a red herring and a plain lie by the Government.
The lie raises more troubling questions.
We must always remember that President Kenyatta served as Finance minister. He therefore understands that the figures published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics are the true figures, not those in political statements. Why then would the President, served by virtually the same officers he worked with in the Treasury, indulge in misleading Kenyans by quoting non-existent figures?
This failure of the President to make sense to the country is at the centre of our national crisis.
This yearâ€™s total allocation for County governments is Sh283 billion out of which, sharable allocation to counties is Sh258 billion.
From this, the county Governments will pay salaries of 100,000 people projected to cost about Sh103 billion as well as finance their recurrent and development expenditures. Kenyans are seeing what the counties are doing with their money.
This year, 2015/2016, the national Governmentâ€™s development budget alone is Sh534 billion.
This is more than double the county Governmentsâ€™ allocation.Â It is not clear to many Kenyans what the National Government doing with all this money. Other than the programmes initiated by the Grand Coalition government, there is nothing the national Government can point to have initiated with the big budgets.
The teachersâ€™ strike has exposed a core fallacy in the Jubilee administration where tax money is diverted from what really matters and used to finance dubious and self-serving schemes.
The corruption geniuses in the Jubilee administration want our taxes to fund theories that exist only in the imaginations of the corrupt and a bureaucracy that is inexplicably growing when it ought to be falling.
No wonder the wage bill is growing in the minds of Jubilee leadership and not in the books that matter.
A recent World Bank report on Public Expenditure Review concluded that our infrastructure investment requirement â€œcould be reduced by half through efficiency gainsâ€. This is to say that our infrastructure spending is inflated by 100 per cent through corruption and wasteful projects.
This year national Governmentâ€™s development budget for infrastructure is Sh350 billion. According to this World Bank assessment, half of this (Sh175 billion) will go to corruption and waste. Teachers require only Sh17 billion. We have the money but it is financing corruption and wastage. Kenya has at least 700,000 public service workers against a population of 40 million people, or about 1 public worker for every 57 persons, compared to 1 public worker for every 300 persons in the USA.
But this size remains suspect. Devolution transferred a huge number of the national Government workforce to the counties. Subsequently, the wage bill in the counties increased from Sh21.6 billion in 2012/13 to Sh76.7 billion in 2013/14, an increase by Sh55.1 billion.
The wage bill of the national Government ought to have decreased by a similar margin. Instead, it increased by 25 per cent, from Sh274.4 billion to Sh281.2 billion. The national Government either increased pay significantly for its staff or embarked on more hiring. Nobody really knows. Jubileeâ€™s acts remain difficult to follow.
The national Government is retaining about 60,000 workers who have been made redundant by devolution. The reason Jubilee hangs onto these workers is to help the national Government retain more money at the centre instead of sending the same to the counties. It is a costly conspiracy.
So is the existence of the Provincial Administration, which was to be restructured. It remains intact, with only names changed and Jubilee knows it is ballooning the wage bill. Kenyans are losing patience with a small clique that says the economy is booming, that the times are great, the salaries are good, the Government is doing a great job and the President can proceed on holiday.
And the Government is running out of lies, distortions and what to steal.
The writer is former Prime Minister and ODM Party Leader. This opinion piece appeared on The Standard.