Kilifi north MP Owen Baya has bashed the county assembly of Kilifi on its plan to put up a luxurious office block.
Baya termed the move a waste of resources in a county bedevilled by high poverty levels and a collapsing health system.
According to Baya, the office will cost the taxpayer a whopping Ksh 1 billion. The complex will have a gym, Jacuzzi, Sauna and steam bath to pamper MCAs.
“As Kilifi County we have more pressing needs to provide services to our people. We cannot continue to use the little resources we have to provide luxurious life style to our MCAs while people suffer poverty and food insecurity. I am urging Governor Amason Kingi to stop that Kshs. 1 billion building by County Assembly of Kilifi and reign on speaker Kahindi to stop wasting public funds. I opposed this building while I was CS and I will continue opposing it till sense prevails,” said Baya
Last week, the county assembly of Kilifi re-advertised five tenders which included the supply, delivery and installation of gym equipment,Jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath installation works for the office block. In a quick rejoinder, James Mulei, a digital communication officer in the office of the governor accused Baya of being insincere as the initial drawings and plans were approved during Baya’s tenure as the county secretary, sentiments which were shared by Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire who was the deputy speaker in the assembly then.
“The construction of office Block at the County Assembly of Kilifi as an idea was conceived in 2014. Consultations were done with relevant government offices and copies of correspondences can be availed on request. The then CS Owen Baya who is the current MP for Kilifi North allocated land from the Malindi Sub County Offices to the County Assembly of Kilifi for this purpose after a request by the County Assembly” said Mulei
He further pointed that there is no record to show Baya rejected the proposal to put up the complex. “If anything is to go by Owen Baya as the county Secretary approved the construction of this block by giving the land to the assembly and copies of the drawings were submitted to his office then to say that he has always objected to this project is a fallacy and trying to be populist. He even attended the ground breaking function for the block,”added Mulei
Baya referred to Mulei’s rejoinder as a poodle of none sense.
“County secretaries never approve building plans. Public works do. I gave the county assembly land I did not tell them to build a luxury building. All county budgets are approved by the county assembly and they approved for themselves all the money to do the luxury building without full disclosure. Now the truth of that building is coming out. County secretaries have no right of vote in cabinet” he said.
Baya said he attended the function of laying the foundation stone of the building as the governor’s aide. This is happening at the backdrop of many health facilities lacking essential drugs.