Economy

Meru plans Sh40m home for Kiraitu

meru governor

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi (right) with his predecessor, Peter Munya, at the Meru Law Courts, November 27, 2017. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NMG

Summary

  • Meru will also spend Sh30 million to build a house for its Assembly speaker, pushing the homes construction budget to Sh110 million.
  • The construction of the three homes look set to spark an uproar amid concerns that counties development expenditure are being diverted to pay and to offer comfort to county officials. 
  • Mr Murungi’s administration plans to use Sh1.1 billion, with more than Sh640 million for drilling and equipping boreholes in semi-arid areas.

Two palatial homes worth Sh40 million each will be constructed for Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi and his deputy, budget estimates for the year starting July show.

Meru will also spend Sh30 million to build a house for its Assembly speaker, pushing the homes construction budget to Sh110 million.

According to the Meru County Revised Annual Development Plan (ADP) that is set for approval by the assembly, it will purchase a Sh4 million golden mace to provide a symbol of authority commensurate with the refurbished chamber.

The 11.5 kilogramme, 4.5 foot mace will be solid brass coated in gold and embellished with African decorative patterns.

County Assembly Speaker Joseph Kaberia said the Speaker’s and Governor’s residences have to be built this financial year after the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) gave timelines for allocation of resources.

Critical services

In 2015, the CRA stopped the construction in a bid to free money for critical services, advising them to spend on non-core projects from 2018.

The construction of the three homes look set to spark an uproar amid concerns that counties development expenditure are being diverted to pay and to offer comfort to county officials. 

Months after the current governors came into office, a number of the county governments set aside tens of millions of shillings for the county chiefs’ residences.

Kilifi County is said to have bought a house for Governor Amason Kingi worth Sh140 million, sparking uproar.

Meru also targets to spend Sh4.95 billion on development with the Water department getting the biggest chunk.

Mr Murungi’s administration plans to use Sh1.1 billion, with more than Sh640 million for drilling and equipping boreholes in semi-arid areas.

READ: Kiraitu orders traders to move into Sh130 million market

Water legacy

The governor said he intends to leave a legacy of having provided water to all residents of Meru.

“I want to be remembered for solving the water problem in Meru,” Mr Murungi said during a meeting with miraa farmers last week.

“My focus is to allocate at least Sh1.5 billion to water in the next two years.”

The Ward Development Fund has been allocated Sh900 million where each of the 45 committees will plan for Sh20 million.

The Meru County Hotel, which Mr Murungi’s predecessor Peter Munya was upgrading to a star-rated facility, has been allocated Sh122 million for refurbishment into an office block.

READ: Kiraitu says Meru County Hotel to be converted into staff offices

Also in the budget is Sh5 million for reconfiguration and refurbishment of MCAs’ offices.

The discarded refurbishment was to cost Sh184 million.

The ADP, which is aligned to the administration’s manifesto, is undergoing public participation in sub-counties from Monday to Wednesday this week.

Free milk

A free milk programme for 70,000 ECDE learners, to be rolled out next year, has been allocated Sh189 million.

The yet-to-be established special programmes unit in the governor’s office will get Sh120 million for the purchase of fire engine equipment to improve efficiency in emergency response.

Establishment of the ambitious Meru Youth Service, which Mr Murungi said will address joblessness in Meru, has been allocated Sh80 million.