Western governors to lose house allowances for lack of official residences

The four governors will lose the Sh100,000 monthly in house allowances if they do not have official residences.

In Summary

• Only Vihiga and Kakamega counties have initiated the projects but are yet to be completed, with no hope of beating the deadline.

• Kakamega main governor's residence, was not prioritised in the budget because of land issues.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya
HOUSING: Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya
Image: /FILE

All the four governors from Western counties have no official residences. They operate from private residences.

This is less than two months to the deadline the Commission on Revenue Allocation gave county governments to have budgeted and constructed official governors’ residences. The counties have until until June 30, 2019.

The county bosses will lose the Sh100,000 monthly in house allowances if they will not have official residences.

Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati
OFFICIAL RESIDENCE: Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati
Image: /FILE

The Star established that only Vihiga and Kakamega counties have initiated the projects, but are yet to be completed. There is no hope of beating the deadline.

Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong, his Bungoma counterpart Wycliffe Wangamati and Kakamega’s Wycliffe Oparanya are operating from their private residences. Vihiga’s Wilber Ottichilo resides at Sosa Cottages in Sabatia sub-county.

Ottichilo said graft investigations by the EACC delayed the commencement of the project as detectives carried away files for the project.

Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong
RESIDENCE: Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong
Image: /FILE

“We have just put the foundation and it’s not feasible that we shall have put up even the walls by June 30. I will be forced to relocate to my rural home 30 kilometres away from the headquarters until the house is complete,” he said in an interview with Vihiga FM.

The county chief said criticism of the project by some local leaders over the cost of land for the project was misplaced as the Sh23.5 million land deal was the best the government got.

In Kakamega, the director of communications, said the main governor’s residence was not given priority in its budget. “After all, even the land has issues. The one in Lugari to serve the northern region is almost complete but still unoccupied,” he said.

The governor operates from his Emabole home in Butere. He also has a personal residence in Likuyani and another in Nairobi. He also operates from a hotel in Kisumu sometimes.

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo
HOUSING: Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo
Image: /FILE

Ojaamong also operates from private residences in Teso South and Busia town. The county government has purchased land for the governor, deputy governor and assembly speaker’s residence.

They will, however, be budgeted for in the next financial year budget.

In Bungoma, Governor Wangamati operates from his rural Ndengelwa home in Kanduyi subcounty.

Former governor and Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka bought land for the governors’ residence, but construction has not begun.