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Governors rent Sh40m city offices

Governors want the government to set aside Sh40 million in next financial year to pay rent for their offices in Nairobi.

The Council of Governors and its members from the 47 counties have leased office space at the ultra-modern Delta Corner House in Westlands.

The offices will also house the council’s secretariat and technical committee.

For now, the governors have pooled funds to finance the offices.

But this could trigger a fresh confrontation with senators and MPs.

Council of Governors chairman Isaac Ruto on Wednesday said his team and the technical committee were created by the Inter-governmental Relations Act, which requires them to have a central point from which they can execute their duties.

“For the council and the governors to perform their duties as provided for in law, we are required to work from one place. That is the reason we have acquired space at Delta Corner,” he said in his temporary office at Bazaar Plaza in Nairobi.

The Act establishes the Council of Governors, the Inter-governmental Relations Technical Committee and the Summit.

The technical committee will coordinate the activities of the council and the summit — the highest organ with the President and his deputy as members.

“There is a lot of legwork to be done before you get money from the national government. We organise a lot of events and a liaison office is a must for every county. 

“You just can’t go to Busia… you must have a presence in the city,” said Mr Ruto, the Bomet Governor.

The offices, which were being partitioned in readiness for occupation from next month, will rival those of MPs and senators, located at Continental House and County Hall.

During their last meeting in Naivasha, governors demanded offices in Nairobi, claiming that they only had a single office, for the Summit, at Jogoo House. 

On Wednesday, Mr Ruto confirmed the governors were funding the new offices which are on the second, fifth, sixth and seventh floors of Delta Corner House.

However, he said they expect the national government to take over their bills from July.

Expected to perform

“If they don’t, it will be unlawful. These are functions which we are expected to perform, unless the Senate and the National Assembly decide to do away with inter-governmental forum,” he said.

Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka said the council decided to support the rental of new offices since some governors were operating from city hotels whenever they were in Nairobi.

Last year, when the idea was first mooted, some MPs opposed it, arguing that the governor’s place of work was in the county.

The Senate has also been opposed to financing of governors’ offices in Nairobi.