State House spokesperson says the government only cleared 51 people for the COP28 climate Summit in Dubai.
According to government spokesperson Hussein Mohamed, only 51 individuals were given permission by the government to attend the COP28 UN climate negotiations in the United Arab Emirates.
In an interview, Mohamed asserted that the number of delegates purportedly representing Kenya had been substantially overstated.
Despite the government’s commitment to austerity measures, he claimed that numerous stakeholders from county governments and the business sector had sponsored the attendees due to climate change, which affects many parts of the economy.
“The number that was given was exaggerated; those registered does no necessarily mean those who came,” Mohamed said on Sunday.
“Non-government entities are facilitating several Kenyans to participate in this COP 28. The list of the people that were cleared by the government is 51,”
According to the State House spokesperson, while the President was committed to walking the walk, he had no control over other sectors outside the presidency that were sponsoring attendees.
“We have so many other Kenyans from the private sector, non-state actors, county government, parliament, is that part of the Presidency? No,” he added.
“The Head of State is walking the talk, he was clear about reducing the numbers and he had done so, the other day he even spoke about reducing the allowances given to people and he has done so.”
According to Hussein, while the president is eager to keep his word on austerity measures, he lacks the authority to order other institutions to do so.
“As far as the president is concerned, he has reduced the numbers to what is essential, and for the rest they can only take the example of the president,” he added.
State House was forced to respond after claims of Kenya’s huge delegation to the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) amid austerity measures to reduce government spending.
According to a statement from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) detailing the list of participants, Kenya ranks 12th with the most delegates.
The report shows that Kenya has 763 delegates in attendance out of the total 97,000 from 195 nations. Of these, 368 are party delegates, while 397 are overflow delegates.
Among those in attendance according to Citizen TV are; President William Ruto, First Lady Rachel Ruto, Second Lady Dorcas Rigathi, Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi, Environment and Forestry CS Soipan Tuya, and Attorney General Justin Muturi.
Other CSs include Rebecca Miano (Trade), Njuguna Ndung’u (Treasury), Aisha Jumwa (Public Service), Alice Wahome (Water), Senate Speaker Amason Kingi, State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohammed and COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli.
About 13 Governors, Senators, MPs, State House staff, Principal Secretaries (PSs), government officials, county staff, Personal Assistants (PAs), advisors, and researchers are also in attendance.