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January 18, 2019

Sonko’s office gets Sh132.7m for hospitality, fuel and travel

Pedestrians avoid pothole along the Cabral Street in Nairobi CBD on May 11,2018.
Photo/Enos Teche.
Pedestrians avoid pothole along the Cabral Street in Nairobi CBD on May 11,2018. Photo/Enos Teche.

Governor Mike Sonko has broken the record, allocating himself Sh132.7 million for luxury use in the proposed 2018-19 budget.

This is despite cries by the city residents by deplorable state of roads, overflowing sewage, choking garbage, shortage of water and lack of medicines in the county health facilities.

In what is likely to cause public uproar, the governor's office has been allocated Sh108 million to fuel his fleet of high-end cars.

Sonko has also been allocated himself Sh8.9 million for hospitality supplies that include drinks, gifts and food.

About Sh15.6 million has been set aside for the governor's domestic and foreign travel, which include flight tickets, accommodation and allowances.

The governor has also been allocated Sh1.5 million for communication – purchase of airtime.

The allocations are contained in the county's 2018-19 budget estimates tabled in the county assembly chambers last week.

The allocations have surpassed his predecessor Evans Kidero's whose total allocation for luxury was Sh111.7 million in 2017-18.

Kidero's office was allocated Sh100 million for fuel, Sh3 million for hospitality, ShSh3.5 million for domestic travel and Sh5.2 million for foreign travel.

The county's total proposed budget for 2018-19 financial year is Sh34.2 billion, comprising of Sh24 billion (70 per cent) for recurrent and Sh10.2 billion for development (30 per cent).

According to the document, Sonko has also been allocated Sh5 million for the routine maintenance of his cars and another Sh4 million for the governor's “confidential” expenditure.

The governor will also get Sh6.5 million to equip his office with furniture and other fittings, computers and printers.

This is compared to Sh2.2 million that Kidero allocated for the same purpose last year.

General officer supplies which include papers, pencils, sanitary and cleaning materials for the governor' s office will cost the tax Sh4.9 million in the next financial year.

In her quarterly expenditure report released in March, Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo said that all the 47 counties had gobbled up to Sh1 billion in foreign travels by county assemblies and executives including governors.

Odhiambo raised the red flag saying that some counties have been spending beyond the budget ceilings. All the devolved units have set a side Sh9.7 billion for travel allowance for governors, executives and and MCAs.

The city county has been grappling with numerous challenges since Sonko took over from Kidero in August last year.

The city boss has been criticized over his failure to collect trash, remove street families and hawkers from the CBD and reduced traffic jams despite promising to “fix” these problems in just 100 days.

In the Sh10.2 billion set a side for development, Sh4.9 billion will go to Roads and transport sector, Sh1.1 billion to solid waste management, Sh500 million will go to education, youth and agenda affairs sector and Sh601 million has been set aside for health services sector.

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