Nairobi allocates Sh35m to build Speaker’s residence

Nairobi County Assembly

Ward representatives are pictured during a session of the Nairobi County Assembly on December 3, 2020. PHOTO | NMG

Nairobi County Assembly is once again planning to spend Sh35 million towards getting an official residence for its speaker, reviving a search that has continued since 2013.

The county government has allocated the amount towards acquiring land and constructing an official residence for the Speaker.

According to the Nairobi County Fiscal Strategy Paper for financial year ending June 30, 2022, Speaker’s official residence should be a new house.

Currently, the assembly has been offering the speaker Sh150,000 a month as housing allowance, but the perk is to be withdrawn next June.

“The fund allocated will go towards acquisition of land and constructing an official residence for the honourable speaker,” reads the document.

Nairobi County’s efforts to get a house for its governor remain clouded in controversy as ward representatives and the executive fight over whether to refurbish the mansion that hosted the former city mayors in the leafy Lavington suburb or build a new house for its county chief.

In the financial year ending June 30, 2018, the county assembly budgeted for the purchase of the official residence and even advertised for the tender, but wrangles pitting the then clerk Jacob Ngwele against former Speaker Beatrice Elachi halted the procurement process.

The assembly had set aside Sh150 million to purchase a mansion which was to be located at designated UN Blue Zones including Karen, Kileleshwa, High Ridge, Kitisuru, Lang’ata, Muthangari, Spring Valley, Muthaiga, Loresho, Lower Kabete, Windsor, and Balozi.

The search then narrowed down to two houses in Lavington and Gigiri, both properties of the Nairobi County government, with what remained being the inspection of the houses before the final selection.