'I said no!' Simba Arati rejects Ksh.57M set aside for his swearing-in, office renovations

'I said no!' Simba Arati rejects Ksh.57M set aside for his swearing-in, office renovations

Kisii County Governor-elect Simba Arati speaking to Citizen Digital on August 24, 2022. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

As the newly-elected county governors prepare to take their oaths of office on Thursday, August 24, a number of county governments are on the spot over plans to splash millions of shillings on the inauguration events that are supposed to last for only 4 hours - between 10am and 2pm.

A case in point is Kisii County where it has emerged that the county’s Assumption of Office of Governor Committee had planned to spend Ksh.57 million for the inauguration of Governor-elect Simba Arati and his deputy into office.

Kisii Governor-elect Simba Arati made the revelation on Wednesday highlighting that he declined the allocation and advised that it be slashed to Ksh.3.5 million. 

“The budget that had been set aside for assumption of office after my election was Ksh.57 million. I have slashed it to Ksh.3.5 million. It will only be higher by Ksh.600,000 because of the TV advertisements they had already placed and for live coverage,” Arati said.

He added: “I cannot spend Ksh.57 million when hospitals and dispensaries in the county have no medicine and residents of Kisii do not have water.”

On what comprised the Ksh.57 million, Arati disclosed the county’s assumption of office committee had allocated Ksh.33 million for the purchase of a new vehicle for the Governor and his deputy.

Arati, further says, Ksh.7 million and Ksh.6 million had been separately set aside for the renovation and construction of the Governor’s office and residence respectively. In addition, Ksh.10 million had been allocated for Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony alone.

The Governor-elect says he does not need a new vehicle and that he will have the offices renovated at zero cost on the County Government.

“We did the calculations together and brought the budget from Ksh.57 million down to Ksh.3.5 million.  They wanted to acquire a new vehicle for the governor and deputy governor at a cost of Ksh.33 million, Ksh.7 million to renovate offices, Ksh.6 million to construct the governor's residence and Ksh.10 million for tomorrow’s event,” he said.

“I said no. I have a vehicle. I cannot put it aside and ask for a new one. Let me use mine. I can even fuel it as long as the residents of Kisii benefit. My deputy can use the vehicle that the former governor was using incase he has no vehicle. We have cars, so let that Ksh.33 million be redirected to proper use,” Arati stated.

On the Governor’s residence, Arati said he would not allow the county to continue renting an official residence but would wait until once is constructed.

“The outgoing governor was living in a rented house. For that case, I will not move into that premises I will wait until the Governor's residence is constructed,” he said.

— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) August 24, 2022

Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang'o is reported to have also flagged a number of 'unimaginable' requisitions made by counties for the Governor's inauguration ceremonies.

According to the Controller of Budget, she directed the said counties to revise their budgets to reasonable amounts to avoid a waste of public funds.

She however pointed out that some counties had made minimal budgets for the ceremonies, citing Kirinyaga County which she said asked for only Ksh.250,000.  


Kisii County Simba Arati

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