- In July 2020, Sonko and Nairobi Metropolitan Services director general Lieutenant General Mohamed Badi were caught up in a brawl over the residence.
- The Treasury in 2019 had stated that it was spending Sh5 million in monthly rent for the governors, Sh4.51million for deputies and Sh 3.75 million for speakers.
The Nairobi county government is planning to spend Sh500 million on official residences for the governor and deputy governor.
This will be the first purchase of such houses since devolution and after the directive from Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
The Treasury in 2019 stated it was spending Sh5 million in monthly rent for the governors, Sh4.51 million for deputies and Sh3.75 million for the speakers, increasing the burden on taxpayers, who also foot other perks like transport and entertainment allowances.
As a result, SRC directed that all 47 counties must build residential houses for top officials within two years as it planned to cut the monthly allowances.
SRC has been paying Sh200,000 monthly per official.
To comply with the directive, City Hall plans to buy the houses in the next financial year which begins on July 1, 2022.
The new development is contained in the latest County Annual Plan for Financial year 2022-2023.
"The County Annual Development Plan for the year 2022-2023 is proposing the purchase of governors and deputy governors' residences amounting to Sh500 million,” the document reads.
The plan has however not outlined in detail the location, specifications and cost of each house.
The amount however surpasses what the Senate had capped as the cost of a governor’s official house at Sh45 million, that of the deputy at Sh40 million and Sh35 million for the Speaker.
Nairobi has been using the mayor's official house as the governor's residence.
The property that sits on 0.843 acres along Isaac Gathanju Close in Lavington housed previous city mayors.
Nairobi’s last mayor before devolution George Aladwa, now Makadara MP, was the last to occupy the house.
In 2002, former Lands Minister Noah Katana Ngala allocated the house to himself and ended up living in it for 10 years.
However, in 2012, the former minister together with his wife were arrested by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and charged over the property.
As a result, the two entered into an agreement with EACC and the property was returned to the public.
The former mayor’s house was supposed to be handed over to Nairobi’s first Governor Evans Kidero after devolution took effect in 2013 but he opted to stay in his Muthaiga home.
Instead, the house was left for his former Education CEC Anne Lokidor.
In 2017, former Governor Mike Sonko also failed to occupy it and instead continued to live in his Runda residence and Mua Hills home in Machakos.
On November 14, 2018, Lokidor was evicted from the house as she claimed she had been paying Sh35,000 monthly as rent to City Hall.
On June 5 that same year, the former county officer sued City Hall after she received a letter asking her to vacate the residence.
The case had first been filed at Milimani commercial courts before chief magistrate PM Gesora, then referred to High Court judge Msagha Mbogoli.
However, Judge Mbogoli in turn directed the case to be heard in the Environment and Land Court for appropriate directions.
The former CEC claimed she spent Sh1.5 million to renovate the house after she reclaimed it from the former Lands minister.
In July 2020, Sonko and Nairobi Metropolitan Services director general Lt Gen Mohamed Badi were caught up in a brawl over the residence.
The former county boss had announced he had taken possession of the governor’s residence and that county staff had begun renovating the house ahead of his plan to move in.
Badi gave a stern warning to Sonko that he should keep off the house as it was under NMS based on the deed of transfer agreement and was sealed off by police officers.
The Deed of Transfer Agreement signed in February 2020, saw Nairobi’s main four functions Health, Roads, Lands and environment put under the National government.
Since then, the house has remained under the maintenance of NMS.
-Edited by SKanyara