In order to reduce monthly allowances, Kenya’s wages and remunerations commission ordered all 47 counties to construct residential homes for top officials within two years.
Following the order, money was distributed, and Nairobi received Sh500 million for its new government building. Johnson Sakaja, the governor of Nairobi, rejected the monies, saying they could be used more effectively.
In an unconventional decision, the governor declared on Tuesday in Kibra that the Sh500 million should be used to construct a market in Nairobi rather than an additional unnecessary government building.
“When I checked the Nairobi budget, they had allocated Sh500 million to build governors’ and deputy governors’ houses. I told them to remove that money so that we can build markets for these people and places they can work from.” He said. Plans to construct a new government house had already been set in motion by the Nairobi government. The move was to be the first purchase of such houses since the Salaries and Remuneration Commission gave their government houses directive.
However, the governor emphasized that he already had a home and didn’t require a second one. In the same sentence, he disclosed that residents in his county don’t even have as much of a means of subsistence.
“Why would I need a second home when I already have one? Our attention is on the Kenyan people, so let’s work for them first before looking out for ourselves as we go.” He spoke.
The Treasury said in 2019 that it was paying Sh5 million a month on rent for the governors, Sh4.51 million a month on deputies, and Sh3.75 million a month on speakers, adding to the financial burden on taxpayers who also pay for other benefits including travel and entertainment expenses.