Nyeri County has proposed to spend Sh200 million to build Governor Mutahi Kahiga a palatial home and another Sh20 million to construct a gate at the county headquarters.
According to the annual development plan for the 2018-2019 financial year, the hefty sum will be used to purchase land, fund architectural design and construction between 2018 and 2022.
The figures in the document represent estimated costs of the project which are subject to changes during drafting of the final budget.
The 200 million, however, is double the amount proposed by the previous regime which had set aside Sh35 million for housing top officials.
Contacted for comment, Mr Kahiga said he was not aware how much the county will spend as he pointed out that the bill of quantities had not been finalised.
He noted that the move to set aside funds for the construction of a house for the governor, his deputy and the assembly Speaker was to comply with a Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) directive.
“The commission notified County Governments that governors, their deputies and speakers will not receive house allowances starting July 2019,” he said.
Still at planning stage
Finance and Economic Planning Executive Robert Thuo explained that it was wrong to conclude that the county will spend the Sh200 million while the ADP is a planning document.
“You do not quote a planning document. There is no budget for that residence and money has not been set aside,” he said.
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It is however unclear why the county had decided to put up a new gate at the county headquarters barely two years after it was renovated by late Governor Nderitu Gachagua’s administration.
The governor has also acquired a new Prado worth Sh14 million but which had been factored in the supplementary budget and approved by the county assembly.
Mr Kahiga had complained that he did not have an official car designated to his office and required a new vehicle after the Mercedez Benz the late Dr Wahome Gakuru was travelling in was written off in accident.
The plan is a crucial document detailing the projects the county will implement in a financial year which is scrutinised and approved by the county assembly to be used in preparing the annual budget.
Office for county executives
The county will also construct a new office block at a cost of Sh500 million to be completed in the next five years.
In a past interview, Governor Kahiga said that the new office block will accommodate the 10 county executives as most of them are housed at offices that previously served as the provincial headquarters.
Mr Kahiga argued that having the executives work from one roof will improve service delivery and co-ordination of the various dockets.
“We want to have all our executives working from a centralised place so that they are not spread across the town. It will be easy for the public to access their offices,” he said.
The plan was tabled in the assembly yesterday and referred to various committees for scrutiny.
Taxpayers will also foot construction of ward offices and sub county offices at a cost of Sh84 million.
Additionally, the county will spend Sh30 million to purchase vehicles for sub-county administrators.