Nairobi News

HashtagMust ReadNewsWhat's Hot

Contradictions: Sakaja’s official residence allocated Sh290m despite initial denials

When Governor Johnson Sakaja assumed office last year, he said there was no need to allocate Sh500 million to construct the Governor’s residence.

“I have just seen a budget that allocates Sh500 million for the construction of the governor’s and deputy governor’s houses. I have asked them to reallocate the money to other priority projects like building markets and creating jobs for our youths,” Sakaja said at an event in October 2022.

He said he already had a place to live, and there was no need to allocate such a sum.

“Why do I need Sh 500m for another place to live? Let’s work for our people,” he explained.

However, the county’s Sh42.3 billion budget for the 2023/24 financial year, read by County Executive Committee member Charles Kerich, allocated the money for constructing the governor’s official residence.

Also read: Ngei Estate residence to Nairobi Water: We won’t pay our water bills!

Under the County Secretary, the Governor’s official residence has been allocated Sh290 million from the original proposed Sh500 million.

The idea of constructing a governor’s house was derived from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) as a deliberate move to end the monthly house allowances given to governors.

In July last year, the SRC stopped house allowances for governors, deputy governors, and county chairmen to encourage them to build permanent houses for the three officials.

“The commission advises that the option for county governments to pay rent/lease official residential houses for governors, deputy governors and county assembly speakers will be discontinued on 30 June 2022,” reads part of a letter from SRC.

According to the SRC’s 2017 guidelines, Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu governors were given monthly house allowances of Sh200,000, while governors of other counties were given Sh100,000.

All 47 counties were given four years in 2015 to build residences for the top three county government positions, a plan to end the house allowances.

In a recent interview with the media, Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Kennedy Ngondi said they were struggling to acquire a plot of land to build the speaker’s house.

Also read: Sakaja to Rigathi: Talk to me rather than criticizing me in public