Kenya’s salaries and remunerations commission directed that all 47 counties build residential houses for top officials within two years as it planned to cut the monthly allowances.
The directive was followed by an allocation of funds, which saw Nairobi awarded Sh500 million for its new government house. However, the governor of Nairobi Johnson Sakaja, rejected the funds, noting that it could be put to better use.
The governor in an unorthodox move announced on Tuesday in Kibra that the Sh500 million should be used to build a market in Nairobi, rather than another needless government house.
“When I checked the Nairobi budget, they had allocated Sh500 million to build governors’ and deputy governors’ houses. I told them to remove that money so that we can build markets for these people and places they can work from.” He said.
Plans to construct a new government house had already been set in motion by the Nairobi government. The move was to be the first purchase of such houses since the Salaries and Remuneration Commission gave their government houses directive.
The governor, however, stressed that he already had a home and didn’t need another. In the same breath, he revealed that people in his county don’t even have as much of a livelihood.
“I already have a place to live, why then would I need another house? Our focus is on the people of Kenya, let us first work for them we will seek ourselves as we move on.” He said.
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.