Uproar as city fathers budget for Sh30m gold-plated mace

Nairobi County Assembly.

Nairobi County Assembly. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A Sh30 million tender issued by the Nairobi County Assembly for a mace and security vaults has caused an uproar among city residents.

According to the tender document posted on the county assembly's website, the description of the mace is similar to the 18-carat gold-plated mace acquired by Nyandarua County in 2019 at Sh4.3 million. Nairobi has budgeted Sh30 million.

The assembly has been criticised for spending millions of shillings on a mace at a time when the cost of living is high and Nairobi MCAs are yet to receive bursary allocations.

Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai has come out to express his displeasure with the tender, saying it was wrong for the Assembly to buy a new mace “as if that's the most urgent thing”.

Wanton wastage

“There are many things which should be spent on. A mace shouldn’t be a priority. I condemn this tender and call on Nairobians to resist this wanton wastage of funds,” said Mr Alai.

However, Nairobi County Assembly Clerk Edward Gichana said that everything had been done in accordance with the law and that his office was only implementing what members of the county assembly had ratified.

"What we have procured is something that has been budgeted for, something that has gone through the planning process. It is in our CIDP (County Integrated Development Plan), it is in our ADP (Annual Development Plan) and all these things have been approved by MCAs and the executive," said Gichana.


According to the assembly, the supplier should provide a mace that is fire-resistant, a standard that can be achieved by having a mace that is made of heavy-duty steel and lined with fire-resistant materials to withstand high temperatures for up to four hours at 1,000 degrees centigrade.

It should be designed to keep internal temperatures below a critical threshold to protect the contents from fire-related damage.

The tender also stated that the mace should be supplied with a vault incorporating a burglar-proof locking system with an electronic digital lock providing secure access via a biometric access system (keypad or touchpad) that users to set their own unique passwords.

It should also provide a backup access key in case the electronic access fails or the user forgets their access credentials.

The safe should also be fitted with a robust deadbolt locking system to prevent unauthorised access.

In addition, the top of the mace should have a pointed pyramid design with three solid brass engraved crests of the County of Nairobi, visible from either side of the mace, with the crests gilded with 18-carat yellow gold.

The description states that the mace should weigh between 10kg and 10.5kg and be 1.2 metres in height.

The neck of the mace should be supported by the crests that are made up of four solid brass struts that appear four times around the mace, each strut plated with 18-carat gold, and the neck plated with 18-carat gold to house the four stones.

This comes as the county continues to face endless flooding of roads during heavy downpours, posing a threat to motorists and pedestrians.

Garbage collection is another issue that has yet to be fully addressed by the county, as are frequent market fires.