Nairobi Speaker: I didn’t ask for mansion with pool, I live in a bigger house
Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Elachi has denied ever asking for a posh mansion located in an upmarket location that has a swimming pool on the backyard.
Ms Elachi has reached out to Nairobi News to explain that the executive mansion is not meant to meet her taste, but will be official residence of any holder of the Speaker’s office.
If it was up to her, she would reject the house, she said.
Tender documents posted on the Nairobi County Assembly web site outline that the Speaker’s mansion must be located within ‘designated UN Blue Zones’.
The zones boast high number of expatriates—mostly the nearly 5,000 employees working at the global headquarters of the United Nations Environmental Programme, UN Habitat among other agencies as well as international organisations.
The documents say the Speaker’s mansion must be located within a gated community with a private swimming pool, at least 200 metres from the main road with a paved access road six metres wide with street lighting.
Speaking to Nairobi News, Ms Elachi assuaged concerns that she had demanded for a house that meets her personal preferences.
“This posh girl has lived in Lavington to over 25 years in a bigger house than the one being bought by the county. Have I been living on a tree for me to demand for a house?” she posed.
She said she does not need city’s taxpayers to fund her house.
“Nairobians are suffering a lot and the notion that the Speaker is buying a house is just in bad taste. I have a big house with a swimming pool and my agenda is not just a big house,”said Ms Elachi.
County Speakers are entitled to a monthly house allowance of sh150,000.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) had last year ordered all 47 counties to stop paying rent for Governors and the Speakers from June 30, 2018 and instead construct houses for them.
In an earlier interview, Nairobi County Assembly clerk Jacob Ngwele said they will comply with the order.
“There is a circular that by June 30, 2018 we will stop paying rents for the Speaker but instead construct houses for them. If a county has land they should start constructing, but for us in Nairobi we will just purchase a house in any part of the county,”said Mr Ngwele.