Amason Kingi residence

Governor Amason Kingi's official residence.

| Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

Governors’ mansions: Amason Kingi's Sh140m beachfront Kilifi property

In 2014, the County Assembly of Kilifi approved the purchase of a multimillion shilling mansion in Kilifi town.  

The county government bought the Sh140 million Governor Amason Kingi’s official residence from an investor. The house sits at the Mnanari beachfront within the Kilifi old ferry area.

However, there was public uproar over the amount of money used to purchase the house versus the poverty level of the people of Kilifi County. The public turned to social media and blamed the county government for the misuse of funds.

Locals and a section of Members of the County Assembly said the house was purchased when residents in Ganze and Magarini were languishing in poverty.

Kilifi County Secretary Owen Baya defended the purchase of the five bedroomed fully furnished house and said that there was no misuse of money.​

Kingi residence

Governor Amason Kingi's official residence in Kilifi that cost 140 million.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

Mr Baya said that they followed all the procedures in the purchase process. Its valuation got approval from the government.

“We followed proper procedures. The valuation team recommended it fit for the governor. We purchased the house. The truth is that this was the money budgeted for,” Mr Baya said. 

We advertised the tender for the governor’s house in the local dailies, and interested property owners bid. Amongst all the seven properties tendered, only three bidders got selected by the tendering board,” he added.

Documents seen by Nation.Africa showed that the district valuer valued the house at Sh145 million. The secretary added that they needed a fully furnished house without incurring additional expenses. He said this made them go for the offer by Ecstatic Wind Properties.

“Two houses scored 75 marks. We did not want to purchase a house that would need renovation and furnishing, the reason we settled on that house was because Ecstatic Wind properties bid the house for Sh140 million,” said Mr Baya.

He clarified that the county government had factored in the budget money to buy the governor’s residence and renovation.

Then Kilifi County Assembly committee on Public Accounts and Investment chairman Duncan Kaingu said the assembly was consulted before they visited three houses before they settled on one whose purchase was approved by the committee.

According to an investor who spoke on condition of anonymity, the house owner wanted to sell it at Sh70 million.

“He was selling it at Sh70 million, and when the government advertised tenders for the governor’s residence, a company sent a bid at Sh140 million,” said the source.

Governor Kingi moved into the house a few months after it was handed over to him. However, he rarely stays there save for during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

The governor stays in Nyali Estate in Mombasa County, and in many cases, he travels to Kilifi for official duties. By the time of purchase, the house was fully furnished.

The house has an office for the governor that doubles as a conference room, a swimming pool, and a three-bedroomed staff quarter. It has a jetty that connects to the sea through a tunnel.

 County government has come under fire in recent days after the office of the Controller of the Budget raised an alarm over poor use of the funds.

This story is part of a series on the millions of shillings governors are splashing on palatial residences.