Senators to review spending on assembly speakers’ homes
Colossal amount shouldn’t be spent on one individual’s comfort, says committee leader
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.