Sen­a­tors to review spend­ing on assem­bly speak­ers’ homes

Colos­sal amount shouldn’t be spent on one in­di­vid­ual’s com­fort, says com­mit­tee leader

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - COUNTY NEWS - BY BARACK ODUOR @Nyak­wa­rad­ede1 bo­­tion­

The Se­nate is set to review lim­its of tax­pay­ers’ money that coun­ties can spend on build­ing of­fi­cial homes for county Speak­ers.

Se­nate Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee chair­man Moses Ka­jwang’ yes­ter­day said the lim­its set by The Com­mis­sion on Rev­enue Al­lo­ca­tion and Salaries and Re­mu­ner­a­tion Com­mis­sion need to be looked at afresh.

County As­sem­blies have been us­ing cost­ings done by the Min­istry of In­fra­struc­ture in 2011, which put the cost of build­ing a Speaker’s house at Sh174 mil­lion and that of the Gov­er­nor at Sh267 mil­lion.

“SRC rec­om­mended that county as­sem­blies should con­struct houses for Speak­ers but failed to give guide­lines on spec­i­fi­ca­tions and cost,” Se­na­tor Ka­jwang’ (right) said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, such a colos­sal amount can­not be sunk into the com­fort of an in­di­vid­ual.

It is im­moral, in­sen­si­tive and ridicu­lous, he said.

“As Sen­a­tors, we have agreed that we will quash this in­san­ity pro­moted by the Salaries and Re­mu­ner­a­tion Com­mis­sion (SRC).

“We will work with all stake­hold­ers to de­velop bet­ter guide­lines for hous­ing of Speak­ers,” said Se­na­tor Ka­jwang’.

This mat­ter would form the agenda of the Leg­isla­tive Sum­mit in­volv­ing Na­tional Assem­bly and Se­nate Speak­ers, MCAS, sen­a­tors and Speak­ers of County As­sem­blies to be held in Mom­basa next week, he added.

His sen­ti­ments came in the wake of ques­tions raised by res­i­dents of Homa Bay County on plans by the County Assem­bly to build a home for the Speaker at a cost of Sh150 mil­lion.

The assem­bly placed an ad­ver­tise­ment in two lo­cal dailies on Mon­day, seek­ing land for con­struc­tion of the home.

Assem­bly Speak­ers have de­fended the move, ex­plain­ing that it was a re­quire­ment by the SCR for them to have of­fi­cial res­i­dences.

“The gov­ern­ment wants all Speak­ers’ res­i­dences built be­cause they want to cut the cost of pay­ing their rents.

“This is not our own cre­ation,” said Homa Bay County Assem­bly Speaker El­iz­a­beth Ayoo.

In a let­ter to the County Assem­bly Fo­rum chair­man John­son Osoi, SRC boss Sarah Serem di­rected county gov­ern­ments to pri­ori­tise con­struc­tion of of­fi­cial res­i­dences for assem­bly Speak­ers by June 30, 2019.

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