All the 47 counties must build residential houses for top officials within the next two years, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has directed, as it plans to cut the monthly allowance payouts.
SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich told Business Daily that counties have only the next financial year (2021/22) to complete the residences for governors, deputy governors and speakers.
The commission, which has been paying Sh200,000 every month per official, had directed counties to build the residential units by June last year but later extended the period to June 2022 after only four counties complied.
“Our expectation is that all the counties must adhere to the circular. In the absence of any contrary communication, we assume they are on course unless they have issues that we are not aware of,” said Ms Mengich.
This is likely to prove a tall order for 44 devolved units as they juggle priorities amid mountain of pending bills and growing demand by residents for new projects. Only Homa Bay and Kajiado had completed construction of the residences for their governors and deputies by the end of June last year.
Kilifi has completed its governor’s house while Isiolo has completed the one for its deputy governor. None of the 47 units has constructed a residence for its county assembly speaker.
Some of the counties were last year flagged for overshooting budgetary provisions to build the residences of their governors and deputies against the Sh45 million set by senators.
The budget for construction of the deputy governor is capped at Sh40 million and for the speaker at Sh35 million.
Vihiga allocated Sh103 million for the construction of the governor’s house while Kilifi spent Sh140 million in 2014.
Treasury last year said that it was spending Sh5 million in monthly rent for the governors, Sh4.51million for deputies and 3.75 million for the speakers, increasing the burden on taxpayers, who also pay foot other perks like transport and entertainment allowances.