Kenya to buy luxury homes and cars to accommodate visiting presidents and dignitaries

Kenya to buy luxury homes and cars to accommodate visiting presidents and dignitaries

By Jane Muia / Posted on May 4, 2022 | 3:08 p.m.

KEY POINTS

“The Ministry is seeking to acquire suitable guest accommodations for high level dignitaries visiting the country. This will reduce hotel accommodation costs and ensure that there is always accommodation availability and reduce the dependence on hotels,” said CS Raychelle Omamo.

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This will add to the growing burden of managing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which spends billions of shillings to host Kenyan diplomats in foreign capitals.

The Kenyan government plans to purchase luxury cars and homes for use by heads of state and other high-level dignitaries visiting the country.

“The ministry is seeking to acquire suitable guesthouses for high dignitaries visiting the country. This will reduce hotel accommodation costs and ensure there is always accommodation available and reduce reliance on hotels,” Foreign Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said in a statement. a statement, adding that the move would enhance security and privacy.

The ministry says protocol vehicles will be parked on the airside of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for use in the movement of Very Very Important Persons (VVIPS) and Very Important Persons (VIPs) from flights to lounges and to protocol officers during reception duty. However, it did not reveal the number of vehicles or houses it intends to acquire.

This will add to the growing burden of managing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which spends billions of shillings to host Kenyan diplomats in foreign capitals.

”The ministry has a large fleet of old vehicles, which increases maintenance costs. Also, unlike other international airports, JKIA does not have protocol cars parked at the tarmac/airside area to facilitate VVIPs and VIPs upon arrival and departure (boarding and disembarkation),” said Ms Omamo.

It comes after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently announced that it would stop leasing property and turn to buying instead, to reduce its high spending on rental costs which is believed to be nearly 3 billion shillings a year. year.

The Treasury in the year to June 2021 allocated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a total of 17.33 billion shillings, of which 16.2 billion shillings went to recurrent expenditure, leaving 1.13 billion shillings For the development.

The government has lost billions of money paying the rent of civil servants. A good example is the Kenyan Ambassador’s official residence in New York which has been vacant for 10 years even as taxpayers shell out millions every year to pay the officer’s rent. The residential building, known as Kenya House, sits on approximately two acres of land in the US city.

The Ambassador lives on a leased property for which taxpayers pay an annual rent of 23 million shillings. The mission in New York incurs an annual maintenance cost of 120,000 shillings and an annual utility cost of 868,000 shillings on the unoccupied property.

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