A Senate committee has faulted the use of huge amounts of money to build official residences for governors, their deputies and County Assembly Speakers.
The Senate committee on Finance and Budget has also criticised county governments for spending billions to build the County Executive offices, County Assembly chambers, and County Assembly offices.
In a report tabled in the Senate last Thursday, the committee said although the county governments infrastructure projects are essential for the running of the county, investment in the projects should not jeopardise service delivery.
“There were counties which were receiving conditional grants on ‘supplement for construction of county headquarters’ where the projected cost of construction had almost doubled,” the report read in part, noting that county governments should prioritise service delivery.
The committee led by Mandera Senator Mohamud Mohamed committee said despite the Senate approving funds under County Allocation of Revenue Act for construction of county headquarters for five counties, the construction works had stalled.
Nyandarua, Tharaka Nithi, Isiolo, Tana River and Lamu are among the counties cited by the report. “The project has not started in most of those counties apart from Tharaka Nithi and Nyandarua, though from what we have heard and from what we have witnessed, the headquarters were supposed to be funded up to Sh510 million,” the report states.
For instance, in the Financial Year 2018/19 budget, Kirinyaga county had allocated Sh100 million for the governor’s residence, Kilifi county allocated Sh214 million for a deputy governor’s residence and Sh200 million for County Assembly Speaker’s residence while Nyandarua county allocated Sh800 million for construction of county headquarters.
Uasin Gishu county allocated Sh850 million for construction of assembly offices and chambers, according to the report.