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City Hall sparks controversy with Sh30m 18-carat gold mace tender

Nairobi County Assembly’s recent tender for procuring state-of-the-art mace and security vaults, totaling Sh30 million, has ignited a wave of discontent among residents.

The lavish specifications outlined in the tender document have raised eyebrows, especially considering the pressing issues facing the county.

As per the tender document posted on the County Assembly’s website, the description of the mace mirrors the opulence of the 18-carat gold-plated mace acquired by Nyandarua County in 2019 at a cost of Sh4.3 million.

The Nairobi County mace is expected to be fire-resistant, constructed with heavy-duty steel, and lined with fire-resistant materials to withstand high temperatures for up to 4 hours at 1000 degrees centigrade.

The procurement stipulates that the mace’s design should maintain internal temperatures below a critical threshold to protect its contents from fire-related damage.

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Additionally, the mace must be accompanied by a vault equipped with a burglary-proof locking system, featuring an electronic digital lock with biometric access capabilities such as a keypad or touchpad.

The system should allow users to set unique passwords while offering backup access keys in case of electronic malfunctions or forgotten credentials.

Further, the mace is required to have a pointed pyramid design at its top, mounted with three solid brass engraved Nairobi County Crests, gilded with 18-carat yellow gold for visibility from either side.

The mace’s weight is expected to range from 10kg to 10.5kg, with a height of 1.2 meters.

The mace neck will be supported by four solid brass struts, plated in 18-carat gold, and housing four stones.

Firemen and bystanders extinguish a fire in the Makadara area of Nairobi on January 30, 2024. A huge fire broke in the evening of January 30, 2024 in the area of Makadara, in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
At least two people have been severely injured and big areas of property destroyed according to Kenya Red Cross. PHOTO| LUIS TATO / AFP

The extravagant procurement comes amid critical challenges facing the county, including recurrent flooding of roads during heavy downpours, posing threats to motorists and pedestrians.

Garbage collection remains an unaddressed issue, and frequent fire incidents in markets persist, adding to the concerns of residents.

As the tender continues to stir controversy, many are questioning the priorities of City Hall, urging a reevaluation of expenditures to address the more immediate and pressing needs of the residents.