The biggest budget increases in the Department of the Interior went to training, criminal investigation and rebalancing of top leadership offices, a review of budget data shows.
A Nation Newsplex investigation also shows that some government agencies with important roles in the fight against insecurity including immigration at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the Police Air Wing, the Anti-Stock Theft Unit, Community Policing and the Department of Refugee Affairs either had their allocations slashed or unchanged.
The largest increases in budget allocations, including both recurrent and development expenditure, were Sh7.7 billion, made to the Office of the Inspector-General, Sh1.1 billion to the Kenya Police Training College in Kiganjo and Sh1.7 billion to the AP Training College.
Budgetary allocations to the security sector, and the changes from year to year, can give clues as to the government’s priorities. For a country like Kenya that has suffered terror attacks, certain departments charged with crime detection and response arouse particular interest.
Since 2011, Kenya’s allocation for security has stayed stable, at between 10 and 11 per cent of expenditure, and military aid from Kenya’s allies has continued to form an important part of the security budget. In particular, the United States government has provided an increasing amount of aid.
Unlike the Kenya Defence Forces and the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the 2015/2016 budget details how the Interior Department plans to spend its Sh102.4 billion allocation.
Certain agencies that fall under the State Department of Interior, including the Police Air Wing and the Immigration Department, have found themselves under fire at different times after terrorist attacks by Al-Shabaab militants.
The biggest single allocations, or vote heads, within the Interior Department were for Sub County Administration Police Services and Divisional Police Services, at Sh13.8 billion and Sh13.3 billion respectively.
These large allocations cater for Administration Police at the local level and divisions and stations of the Kenya Police Service countrywide, and represent increases of 6.4 per cent and less than one per cent, respectively.
Together, they account for 26 per cent of the Sh102.4 billion allocated to the Interior Department in the 2015/2016 budget.
The National Youth Service, which is not under Interior Department but under the State Department for Planning, received Sh25 billion, an increase of 117 per cent from the Sh11.5 billion allocated in 2014/2015. According to Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich, much of the allocation will be directed towards infrastructure projects.
Large sums of money were also allocated to effect some rebalancing in top leadership positions. Inspector General Boinnet’s office, which was created by the new constitution, received Sh10.5 billion, amounting to an increase of 269 per cent over the previous year, while the office of the Deputy IG (Kenya Police Service) and the Deputy IG (Administration Police) were slashed by 40 per cent and 53 per cent, leaving them with Sh7.8 billion and Sh1.9 billion respectively.
The IG’s office hosts a number of important directorates, including the Integrated Command and Control Centre, Operations Audit, Counter-violent Extremism and Organised Crime, Planning and Police Reforms.
Other large increases were put towards training and criminal investigation. Total vote heads for the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) amounted to Sh5 billion, which represented an increase of 10 per cent over the Sh4.56 billion received the previous year.
Police training colleges, which are responsible for reducing the deficits in police numbers, have seen a significant increase in funding. The Administration Police Training College received Sh5.6 billion or a 45 per cent increase, while the Kenya Police Training College in Kiganjo received Sh3.7 billion, which was an increase of 46 per cent.
The GSU Training College in Embakasi received Sh1.75 billion, an increase of 16 per cent. The three police colleges are expected to graduate a combined total of 10,000 officers early next year.
While the elite Recce squad has been the preferred unit in responding to terror attacks in Kenya, the lack of multiple units has meant transporting the same unit to wherever in the country terrorists attack, be it Nairobi or Garissa.
The Police Air Wing has come in for heavy criticism for its delayed response to the terrorist attack at Garissa University College on April 2, 2015, when Al-Shabaab militants killed 148 and wounded more than 200, in particular for a failure to deploy security forces rapidly to Garissa by air.
In 2015/2016, the Police Air Wing received Sh487.4 million, which amounts to a cut of around Sh7900 from the previous year’s allocation. Reports from earlier this year showed that police aircraft are currently in a poor state and are considered unreliable. Earlier this year, the police acquired a second-hand helicopter for Sh900 million.
The Immigration Department has also come for criticism, particularly because investigations have shown that many terrorists who attack Kenya sneak in through the country’s porous borders.
In the 2015/2016 budget, the sum of all Immigration line items shows that total funding was slashed by seven per cent to Sh2 billion, which is around two per cent of the entire Interior Department’s budgetary allocation of Sh102.4 billion.
SMALL, BUT SIGNIFICANT
The total funds allocated to border points and border control points were increased by 6.6 per cent to Sh196.8 million, while funds for Immigration at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the country’s biggest international gateway, were cut by 14.5 per cent to Sh208 million.
The Immigration Department headquarters and the Directorate of Immigration and Registration of Persons headquarters also lost 9 per cent and 8.8 per cent, leaving them with Sh1.2 billion and Sh201.8 million respectively.
There are also other agencies which have seen cuts that, though small, form a significant proportion of their allocations.
For example, the allocation for Department of Refugee Affairs was slashed by 80 per cent, from Sh575 million to Sh111 million. Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp continues to host larger numbers of refugees.
Community policing plays an important role in demystifying the police to the public and creating an enabling environment for cooperation. In the 2015/2016 budget, funding for community policing was cut by 11 per cent, from Sh26.9 million to Sh23.9 million.
The Anti-Stock Theft Unit, which has been faced with numerous incidents of cattle rustling this year alone, received Sh988.3 million, an increase of less than one per cent.
Funding for the Finance Unit of the Interior Department was cut by 36 per cent, from Sh22 million to Sh14 million, while the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), which has recently been probing political utterances for hate speech, had its funding slashed by 35 per cent, from Sh585 million to Sh380 million.