Senators cap spend on governors' homes, assembly premises

Assembly premises for house with a maximum of 30 members not to exceed Sh200 million

In Summary

• Counties will spend a maximum of Sh35 million for construction of speakers' and deputy governors' residences, Sh45 million for governors'. 

• Counties that had awarded contracts advised to renegotiate the deals. 

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi
CHECK SPENDING: Meru Senator Mithika Linturi

The Senate has set limits for expenditure in the construction of residences of governors, their deputies and county assembly speakers.

Governors' residences are pegged at Sh45 million while their deputies' limit is Sh35 million, the same as that of assembly speakers' residences. 

The size of the land where the houses sit and the entire compound should not exceed two acres. 

The directives are contained in a report tabled in the House last Thursday by Senate Committee on Public Accounts and Investment vice-chairman Mithika Linturi.

The lawmakers have advised counties which had already awarded contracts above the recommended figures to renegotiate the deals.

Further, the report states that counties should not spend more than Sh500 million to construct offices for the executive.

Assembly premises for a house that has a maximum of 30 members should not go beyond Sh200 million; that with between 31 and 50 members should not cost more than Sh250 million.

For assemblies like Nairobi with members between 61 and 90 members, a maximum of Sh400 million should be spent. 

Already, several counties have awarded contracts for the construction of the governors’, deputy governors’ and assembly speakers’ residences.

Some counties have spent as much as Sh150 million for the governor’s home. 

Nyandarua, Nyamira, Isiolo, Tana River, Samburu, Mandera, Kilifi and Meru counties are already building either the headquarters or residences for either the governor or deputy governor.

The report noted that counties had already started infrastructure development projects by the time the Senate resolved to provide expenditure ceilings for the projects.

“Further, construction in some counties was at various stages. Some were 40 per cent complete and the contractual obligations entered into with the contractors were beyond the amounts provided for in the ceilings,” Linturi told the House.

The Meru senator, aware of possible legal battles, requested the Finance and Budget Committee to revisit the matter to avert the impending court actions.

“This will ensure we avoid the stalling of projects and avert the expensive lawsuits that may ensue,” he said.

Senators Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Ledama Ole Kina (Narok) and Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo) asked the committee to carry out an audit in all counties to ascertain the number of projects that have been initiated and their stages.

“We cannot spend public money just haphazardly. We have to figure out what it is we can do,” Ole Kina said.

He suggested to the committee to follow the paper trail and see if there are any kickbacks to governors.

“We should involve the Kenya Revenue Authority to audit those contracts so that we can accurately stand here and defend any contractors,” Ole Kina said. 

Edited by R.Wamochie