Government To Buy Homes And Fuel Guzzlers For Visiting Presidents,CS Raychelle Omamo Tells Parliament.
The government aims to acquire high-end residences and luxury autos for visiting Presidents and dignitaries, according to Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo.
In a report to Parliament, Omamo argued that the decision would save the government money on hotel rentals for visiting heads of state and other guests.
Omamo further stated that owning the residences will assure available housing, security, and privacy for the ‘VIP State guests,’ as well as ensuring constant availability of accommodation and reducing reliance on hotels.
Government To Buy Homes For Visiting Dignitaries
“The ministry seeks to acquire suitable guesthouses for high-level dignitaries visiting the country. This will cut costs of hotel accommodation and ensure there is always availability of accommodation and reduce dependency on hotels,” the report to Parliament read.
This will also protect security and confidentiality, according to the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary.
According to CS Omamo, the present cars used to transport visiting Presidents and other dignitaries are ancient and expensive to maintain.
“The ministry has a large fleet of old vehicles hence increased maintenance costs. In addition, unlike in other international airports, JKIA does not have protocol cars stationed within the tarmac area/airside to facilitate VVIPs and VIPs on arrival and departure (boarding and disembarking),” the CS stated.
“There is also inadequate dedicated transport for senior staff, local errands and to ferry staff and goods which hampers service delivery of the ministry.”
CS Omamo adds that her ministry also needs ceremonial or protocol vehicles, complete with provision for flag pendants, on standby at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for dignitaries’ movement during visits.
This follows on the heels of the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s declaration that it aims to stop renting property and instead purchase it in order to reduce its excessive costs.
The government explained that it sought to lease another property after it realised renovating the one previously occupied by the country’s envoy would be much more expensive.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had disputed rumors that it was on a spending binge by leasing costly properties for Kenya’s UN Ambassador, Martin Kimani.
A report had indicated that Ambassador Martin Kimani lives in a property whose annual rent is Ksh23 million, translating to almost Ksh2 million per month.