NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – State House is on the spot over a request for additional funding of Sh500 million in the budget estimates for the purchase of the open field next to Deputy President William Ruto’s office.
The National Assembly Administration and Security Committee Chairman Asman Kamama was forced to direct State House Administration Secretary John Makumi to submit the land sale transaction detail after MPs Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) and Francis Mwangangi (Yatta) claimed the quotation could be inflated.
Makumi had earlier explained the land is being acquired due to security concerns.
He however said he did not recall the total amount to be paid and referred the MPs to the National Lands Commission which had conducted valuation and gazetted it under protected land.
“Chair, now I am shocked I was asking if there was a building there, Chairman, you know I am a lawyer and I just transacted Kenya Cinema with a complete building there at a total cost of Sh400 million. Now this field, that small thing under the DP, it is Sh500 million and we are being told there is even more money to be given later. I think we are spending excessively on some of these things,” Kaluma said
The MPs further questioned the need to allocate millions of shillings to maintain unutilised State Lodges across the country instead of allocating them to County Administrators some of whom have had to be accommodated in hotels at the great expense to the tax payer.
“Chair, we know the history of these many State Lodges, with the difficulty of travel of our First President of the country. Chair, the technology has improved over time, we cannot be sustaining facilities idling somewhere and employing people to maintain them.”
“Just for the sake of it, how many times for instance has the President been there,” the Homa Bay MP observed even as his colleagues urged Makumi to deploy paramilitary personnel to secure State Lodges in Mtito Adei and Ruthimitu which are left unattended.
Makumi, who was standing in for the State House Comptroller said they require Sh18 million for the construction of 200 metre perimeter wall at Eldoret State Lodge, Sh10 million for the rehabilitation of reception and guest room at Kisumu State Lodge, Sh5 million for the refurbishment of a dais, construction of septic tank at the Kakamega State Lodge and Sh10 million for refurbishment works at Sagana State Lodge.
He requested for an allocation of Sh200 million for refurbishment of building and construction of a 500 metre perimeter wall at Nakuru State House, Sh43 million for the refurbishment of buildings at State House, Nairobi, Sh10 million for purchase of ICT Networking and Communication Equipment (for use by the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit – PSCU), Sh15 million ICT Networking and Communication Equipment (State House, Nairobi) and Sh10 million refurbishment of buildings at Mombasa State House (phase 2 of both main house and fence).
The Presidency budget includes the combined offices of the Cabinet, the President and the Deputy President.