The Treasury is too critical a government function to be left without a substantive Cabinet Secretary.
These are the sentiments coming from a cross section of experts and politicians concerning the current leadership vacuum at Treasury since the arrest and arraignment of Henry Rotich and a host of other top bosses at the ministry.
Mohamed Welihye, an advisor to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (Sama) said there is need to appoint Rotich’s replacement urgently.
“His Excellency (President Uhuru Kenyatta) must ensure that the operations at National Treasury are not paralysed following these arrests. The roles are critical to the day-to-day economic and financial management of the country.
A similar call also came from renowned economist David Ndii who said that corruption is entrenched in the Kenyan system and not just at the Treasury and that it would take significant efforts and a regime change to address the vice.
Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi—who also served as a Finance minister from 1993 to 1997— also urged the government to replace Rotich urgently but like the growing list of professionals, who are increasingly finding it hard to take government jobs, Mudavadi said that he was not willing to take up the offer if called upon.
Kenyans of various walks of life also raised similar concerns saying that lack of a substantive leader at the ministry might stall or interrupt government operations.
The unprecedented news of the arrest of a sitting Cabinet secretary and other top officials on Monday saw the shilling exchange rate drop to 104.5 units, an indication that for a moment investors were wary of the leadership vacuum at the Treasury and were taking precautionary steps of changing currency into other denominations.
Up to yesterday, the shilling was still in a shaky territory with average exchange rates of 103.7 units to the dollar after strengthening a bit as the market weighed in on the ramifications of the development.
Treasury as the centre of the government’s finances and the absence of a substantive head means delays in approvals to finance the day-to-day operations of key arms of government.
News of arrest of the leaders reverberated across the globe with many seeing it as step in the right direction in the war against corruption and that the cases needed to be heard and determined if seriousness is to be demonstrated in the war against corruption.
Yesterday, after spending a day in jail, Rotich and the Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge were charged over the multi-billion shilling Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.