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Siaya Governor James Orengo has disowned Thursday utterances made by the region’s Governance and Administration Chief Officer, Joseph Omondi, that insinuated that the County had set aside 30 acres of land, at Got Akara area in Alego Usonga constituency, to construct the official residences of the governor and his deputy, estimated to be worth Ksh.79 million jointly.

According to Governance and Administration Chief Officer Joseph Omondi, the governor’s residence will cost Ksh.44 million while the deputy governor’s residence will set back taxpayers about Ksh.35 million.

Addressing the press from his office on Thursday evening, Orengo clarified that his county has yet to receive any budgetary allocation for the same and that the announcement was made prematurely by Omondi even before the said funds could be wired to the county’s coffers.

According to Orengo, his administration’s focus lies in bettering the lives of Siaya residents as such overseeing the construction of his and his deputy’s official residences are not a priority for his government.

Omondi while speaking at Got Akara earlier in the day, noted that construction of the said residences need to be prioritised since the County will not foot the leaders’ Ksh.200,000 per month house allowances.

He similarly assured locals of casual jobs adding that he will only outsource the technical team and not casual labourers who he says will be sourced locally.

A circular by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission had advised counties to put up official residences for their governors and deputy governors by June 30 last year, before extending this to 2022.

The Treasury in 2019 stated it was spending Ksh.5 million in monthly rent for the governors, Ksh.4.51 million for deputies, and Ksh.3.75 million for the speakers, increasing the burden on taxpayers, who also foot other perks like transport and entertainment allowances.

As a result, SRC directed all 47 counties to build residential houses for top county officials within two years in order to tame the burgeoning monthly allowances.

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