Budget leak shocks Govt

Government is shocked that the 2015 budget proposals have been leaked to the public before Cabinet approval.

And former Secretary to Cabinet Skechley Sachika has advised the Ministry of Finance to institute investigations into the matter as it fell under the State Secret Act.

Home Affairs Minister Ngosa Simbyakula said it was unacceptable that State secrets and documents had continued to be stolen and leaked to some unauthorized institutions and that it had become imperative that such acts be thoroughly investigated so that the culprits could be brought to book.

Dr Simbyakula revealed that government had commenced investigations into the leakage, recording and stealing of State secrets in public institutions with the aim prosecuting the perpetrators of the illegal and criminal acts.

He said government was concerned that some media houses were illegally recording private conversations of ministers and publishing the same with the intention to scandalise and blackmail such individuals.

“It is unacceptable that State secrets are being stolen and leaked to unauthorized individuals and institutions. We are equally concerned that some institutions have been illegally recording private conversations of ministers in their private residences and offices and publishing the same without their consent. We are looking into these illegalities,” Dr Simbyakula said.

Earlier, sources at Ministry of Finance confirmed to the Daily Nation that the 2015 budget was submitted to the office of the Secretary to Cabinet and that it was shocking that the document found itself in the public domain when it was still considered a secret document.

For the first time in history the country was experiencing leakages on secret information, stealing of state secrets from public institutions and secret recording of ministers.

The sources said it was the first time that the ministry was seeing the publication of the proposed national budget as the rule had always been that the budget could only be released to the general public after the Minister of Finance presented it to Parliament on behalf of the republican President.

The ministry officials said until the Minister of Finance presented the budget before the house, the document was considered secret and maneuvers to pre-empt it fell short of public confidence.

Mr Sachika wondered how the budget process was being conducted now but maintained that budget formulation remained secret until the minister presented it to Parliament.

He said it was difficult to understand how a secret document found its way in the public domain.

“What we know is that before the minister announces the budget, whatever was in public was speculation and the only worry is when ministry officials feel the budget was leaked.

“If there were leakages from the ministry assuming the minister will impose certain measures then the matter should fall under the State Secrets Act because such information was secret,” he said.

Mr Sachika said such an act should prompt the minister to institute investigations in the matter so that sanity could be restored in public institutions.