Mrs Margaret Nyakang’o who was nominated by president Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday, November 19 as the controller of Budget declared her net worth at ksh68m on Thursday during her vetting by parliament. During her vetting she strongly opposed increased use of taxpayers money on unbudgeted items.
“My assets are modest and the estimate that I have given include half of the value of my family home which I acquired through a mortagage” Mrs Margaret said. “We have just finished repaying the loan and I have taken half of that house and put it in my declaration as part of my net worth,” Mrs Nyakango told MPs. She was accompanied by her husband, David Nyakango.
She made the declaration before the National Assembly’s Committee on National Planning where she blamed the disregard for budgets for the mounting pending bills, which have crossed the Sh150 billion mark.
Some of the persons that have recently been vetted for top state jobs have assets in excess of sh150m. These include former cabinet minister Esther Murugi Mathenge with net worth of sh 320 million and Lawyer Gershon Otachi with networth of sh200 million. Mrs Esther Murugi and Gershom Otachi were seeking to join National Land Commission (NLC).
During her vetting, Mrs Nyakango emphasised the need for tighter budget controls.
Mrs. Nyakango holds a doctorate degree in Business Administration from University of Liverpool, masters degree in Business Administration with specific field of study in Strategic Management. She is also a certified sacco professional, a certificate she acquired from Strathmore University.
Margaret is currently a lecturer of Public Sector Finance at KCA University. She has previously worked as Director of Finance and Administration at Kenya National Bureu of Statistics(KNBS) and National Evangelical Graduate School of Theology, Deputy General Manager Finance and Strategy at Harambee Sacco Society and Financial Controller at Lake Basin Development Authority.
Wealth declaration for those seeking top public office is anchored in the Constitution as a tool in the fight against corruption. A separate law, the Public Officer Ethics Act, requires all State officials together with their spouses and dependent children under the age of 18 years to submit their wealth declaration forms once every two years. The full financial disclosure is a means to allow the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to detect and prevent corruption when top public servants are serving in office.
The main task of the Controller of Budget is to approve release of cash from the government’s main account — the Consolidated Fund Services — to ministries, counties and State agencies.
“We need to build capacity on budgetary controls. All releases of funds must be related to work plans but requests are made on plans that are not budgeted in the first place. Budgeted plans are then left out hence pending bills,” Mrs Nyakango said.
The 60-year-old said where plans are in the budget but cash flows are not there, institutions have been incurring expenditure on the assumption that funds will come at a later stage but in the process end up with bills that cannot be settled.
If confirmed to the post, Mrs Nyakango will succeed Agnes Odhiambo whose eight-year nonrenewable term ended in August. Fifteen people had applied for the post, including Stephen Masha, the acting Controller of Budget.