Uproar After Govt Pays Ksh 23M Rent for Kenyan Ambassador
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was on Monday, February 13 shocked over the manner in which the Foreign Affairs department spent money on Kenyan Embassies abroad.
Led by the Committee Chairperson John Mbadi, they queried the rationale behind the renting of an ambassadorial residence totalling more than Ksh23 million in New York.
“The report shows that the country is spending millions of shillings to rent buildings for our Ambassador and staff because Kenyan property was not fit for habitation,” stated the Nominated MP.
PAC also learnt that the other structures that were to house staff at the Embassy were in a bad state and required a face-lift.
A photo collage of Gatundu South MP and PAC member GG Kagombe (left) and Korir Singoei (right) PS State Department of Foreign Affairs during PAC session on February 13, 2023
Parliament of Kenya
Mbadi made the remarks when the Principal Secretary of the State Department on Foreign Affairs Korir Sing’Oei appeared before the Committee to respond to audit queries during a sitting in Parliament.
Members of the Committee equally wondered why the State Department on Foreign Affairs was not improving the state of the already existing properties for staff occupancy and cutting down on costs.
In his response, the PS noted that they could not undertake refurbishment of the houses because they were being starved of cash by the National Treasury.
“Ksh700 million meant for the exercise was cut from our budget which is why we have been unable to conduct infrastructural development,” Sing’Oei disclosed.
The Committee also discovered that Ksh264 million in pending bills had not been settled by the department.
Mbadi in his submissions noted that the failure of the department to clear pending bills had subjected many vendors to a lot of suffering after they had provided services to the State.
Sing’Oei in his rejoinder lamented that the failure to settle pending bills was because of a lack of funds as the National Treasury had not disbursed money for the same to the Department.
The meeting with the State Department of Foreign Affairs comes in the backdrop of subsequent meetings being overseen by legislators before the resumption of parliament on Tuesday, February 14.
Members of the 13th Parliament during President William Ruto’s inaugural speech on September 29, 2022.
The National Assembly