Machakos County Assembly has approved a total of Ksh90M to construct a residence for the governor, his deputy, and the speaker of the assembly.
This was passed in the budget for the 2021/2022 financial year presented by the chair of the Budget and Appropriation Committee, who is also Kathiani Central MCA Dominic Ndambuki.
According to the Budget report presented on the floor of the county assembly on June 30, the governor and his deputy residences were awarded Ksh60M while the speakers’ got Ksh30M for this financial year.
Ndambuki noted that the money is set to buy land and construct the houses and hope the project is completed in a years’ time.
“It’s a Requirement by law that the governors, his/her deputy, and assembly speaker of each county must have an official residence in the county they serve,” he stated.
The move seemed to have angered some Machakos county electorates who said even though the houses are a property of the county, the money should first be channelled to other projects like health.
“The governor, his deputy, and the speaker have homes where they were living before being employed in their current position. Why should we make it a priority now and waste public resources to build them an Ikulu? Let them stay at their primary homes in the villages they come from,” one of the residents in Machakos noted.
Muthetheni ward MCA Jeremiah Munguti said there shouldn’t be any rush to construct the houses hence the money should be used to cushion the public against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to set money on projects that are thorny to the flesh of Machakos people like water, health, and security. It's high time we think of the electorate first and stop such a project,” Mca Munguti said.
Machakos assembly speaker Florence Mwangangi has supported the move saying the public should understand it’s a directive by law the houses be constructed during the 2021/22 financial year.
The salaries and remuneration commission SRC had in 2015 directed counties to build residences for the governors and their deputies and county assembly speakers by June 30 after which the rental allowances of 200, 000 shillings will be withdrawn.
“SRC has set a ceiling on the amount of money that should be used to construct the residences. They have set a limit of Ksh 45, 40, and 35 million respectively for the governors, their deputy, and the county speakers’ abode in each county. ” Speaker Mwangangi noted.
Lawyer Mwangangi revealed that construction of the speakers’ house has already commenced and the contractor is on-site near the White House in Machakos.
“The aim of such a program is to ensure these leaders live near their electorates and the public must realize it’s not mismanagement of their funds.”