Following the plans by the government to stop the exorbitant Sh200,000 house allowance for the county bosses, Siaya County has begun the process of building a governor’s residence at Got Akara in Alego Usonga constituency at a cost Sh79 million taxpayers money.
There will be two palatial homes for the governor and his deputy constructed this year.
The two homes will have modern facilities like the gym, board room, accessible road, ample parking space among other things.
In the last budget, the county government had set aside Sh79 million for the construction of the two homes; Sh44 million for the governor’s and Sh35 million for the Deputy Governor.
“We have handed over the site to the contractor today. The land that was acquired by the county government for the same purpose will also have the County Assembly Speaker’s residence,” said the Governance and Administration Chief Officer Joseph Omondi.
He went on, “We settled on Got Akara because it is a safe place for the county chiefs. It is also close to the office of the governor, therefore it would be easy for them to access the office right on time.”
The project was tendered and awarded in the last financial year however some administrational factors derailed the work from beginning.
“We shall request our leaders to be patient just for one year as the construction will be going on. For now they will be operating from their homes to the office,” he noted.
The contractor Mr Vitalis Asewe said that the work which will take slightly over one year to be completed will be to the standard anticipated by the client, county government.
“We were awarded the tender sometime back, however due to political temperature and the factors that we could not avoid it had to be delayed,” he pointed out.
Unlike his predecessor Mr Cornel Rasanga who lived less than 10km from the office, Governor James Orengo will be travelling for more than 60km from Masiro in Ugenya daily to reach the office.
The former deputy Governor Dr James Okumbe commuted daily from his residence in Sakwa Bondo sub-county, while Mr William Oduol will commute from Kadenge in West Alego as the construction goes on.
A circular released by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) advised the counties to put up residence for the governors, deputy governors and county Assembly Speakers.
The treasury in 2019 stated that it was spending Sh5 million monthly rent for the governors, Sh4.51million for the deputies and Sh3.75 million for the assembly speakers which increased the burden on the taxpayers who also foot other allowances for the leaders.