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12 most outrageous expenses by county governments

By MERCY NJOKI September 10th, 2015 3 min read

1. Kirinyaga County spends Sh1.2 million to open Facebook account

Kirinyaga County Government is alleged to have spent Sh1.2 million paying a person who opened county’s official Facebook page. But Executive Member for Finance Murimi Murage denied the allegations, instead saying the money was used to pay a contractor who managed the County Facebook page for a year.

2. Nyamira County’s Sh7.6 million hospital gate.

Area residents claim that the county government has spent Sh7.6M on a gate yet the hospital in question lacks drugs; has no clean toilets or a perimeter fence.

Director of Health, Nyamira Dr Jack Magara, however, disputes the figures saying only Sh6.6 million was used to put up the gate a host of other amenities including a waiting area for the patients and Sh1 million VAT.

3. Bungoma county’s Sh1 million ‘cancer-busting’ wheelbarrows

Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka is in the eye of storm following revelations that his government had acquired 10 wheelbarrows at a cost of more than Sh1 million. That’s Sh109,000 for each of the wheelbarrows. On average, an ordinary wheelbarrow costs Sh2,000 and Sh4,000 when it is reinforced.

At first, the governor defended the purchase saying the wheelbarrows were special.

“The information that I am getting from the veterinary department is that these are not the ordinary wheelbarrows that we know. These are wheelbarrows that are made of stainless, non-carcinogenic material and are used in the food industry,” said Mr Lusaka.

He later suspended the officials involved and asked them to explain the purchase.

4. Sh50 million ‘Kidero grass’

We all know about this one. The Nairobi County Government spent Sh50 million on buying and planting grass in the CBD ahead of US President Barack Obamas’ visit in July.

This did not sit well with Nairobi residents and they vehemently accused the County Government of mismanagement of funds, an allegation that the Governor denied. Word has it that the county is fetching Sh10 million weekly from fining people who step on it.

5. Tharaka Nithi MCAs relaxing Sh5 million Egypt trip

The MCAs went to Egypt to relax their mind after a tiring 2014/2015 financial year. The trip that was funded by the County Assembly had the MCAs unaccounted for Sh5 million during the trip.

6. Kiambu MCAs trip to Israel to fetch ‘holy water’

In 2014, some of the MCAs in the Kiambu Government went to Israel on an official visit. They fetched “holy water” and brought some to the MCAs’ who did not participate in the trip. Well, as always the trip had been funded by taxpayers money.

7. Choppers for Bomet Governor
The governor’s office has already advertised to lease choppers. One of the officials in Governor Isaac Ruto’s office said that choppers were needed as the county is vast and the terrain is rugged. More than 10 MCAs have, however, opposed the plans.

8. Bomet’s County Sh21 million rickety fire engines.

Apparently the TATA fire Engine cost taxpayers a whopping Sh21 million.

ELgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen was the first to fire a salvo at Governor Isaac Ruto saying: “My friend @IsaacRutoGov I have googled all fire trucks in the world & none is like this. Has our devolution come 2 this?”

The governor defended himself in a series of tweets saying; “Sorry for the wrong information circulating in the social media about the Fire Fighting Trucks and equipment. We purchased three of them at KES 7M each and it will be supported by 6 15,000L water bowsers. The trucks are well suited for Bomet’s terrain. And budget.”

9. Kisumu MCAs trained on how to use Sh3 million iPads in Mombasa

In July 2014, there was storm in Kisumu after the county assembly members demanded a three-day induction course on how to use their newly acquired iPads. The county has just acquired 50 iPads at Sh60,000 each. It’s unclear if the training was granted.

10. Prados for Kisumu County worth Sh72 million

The same Kisumu County Assembly made news when it approved the purchase of Sh72 million. The leader of house majority Mr Samuel Ong’ow said there was need to purchase the four-wheel drives due to the terrain in most parts of the county.

11. 33 Nyamira MCAs’ Sh330k ‘lunch’

In Nyamira, the office of the governor at one point paid 33 MCAs and the speaker Sh10,000 each for lunch as they discussed the Finance Bill.

“Expenditure records at the governor’s office revealed that a total of Sh340,000 was paid to 33 MCAs and the speaker in lunch allowances while deliberating on the Finance Bill,” says the auditor general’s report.

The report also questions the expenditure of Sh560,000 entered as meal allowances by members of the Nyamira County Public Service Board.

12. Machakos MCAs Dubai trip to learn how to run a recreational park

In 2014, 60 Machakos MCAs, including assembly Speaker went on a week-long trip to Dubai where they had gone to get first-hand information on a recreational park similar to the one the County Government is putting up in Machakos.

The county expects to open the park to the public on Valentine’s Day next month.