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Retreats, costly hotel meetings banned in Kajiado's austerity measures

Thursday December 5 2019

 Joseph ole Lenku

Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

STANLEY NGOTHO
By STANLEY NGOTHO
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The county government of Kajiado has taken steps to adopt austerity measures in all its operations in a bid to save much needed resources.

Governor Joseph ole Lenku has banned retreats and meetings in exotic hotels by county officials that cost the devolved unit millions of shillings in allowances annually.

Also suspended are foreign trips dubbed benchmarking trips renown in counties countrywide.

CUT EXPENDITURE

Mr Lenku has also streamlined allowances earned by county officials after attending official meetings saying that has been a loophole used by some to steal from the public coffers.

To set an example the governor has booked his cabinet and chief officers into slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro, Loitoktok, outward bound camping site for five days of marathon meetings.

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A spot check by Nation indicated that the county ministers were staying in dormitories set in a middle class cottage. Each cottage is housing not less than 10 officials. Mr Lenku himself has set aside his trappings of power to share a dormitory with his three male ministers.

“We as the county would like to cut expenditure occasioned by meetings and retreats in exotic hotels annually. We will not tolerate spendthrifts in my administration and we must cut expenses by 20 percent annually. In this camping site, we are spending Sh2,000 per day for each official which is considerable,’’ said the county boss.

Each official is sleeping on a small wooden bed with no privacy at all regardless of their position. They are all sharing a common bathroom and pit latrines outside the dormitories.

Mr Lenku said the move is supposed to remind the officials that they should not to be drunk with power, instead, they should be servants to the people.

“Some officials have been drunk with power instead of serving the people. Here, all officials will have a chance to bond and realise the importance of team work. We will always endeavour to promote local facilities to foster growth within the county,’’ he added

County officials attached to the governor, his deputy and CECs, who usually accompany their bosses, were committed to other duties back in the office.

The move comes when the county government is targeting a Sh2 billion annual revenue collection by 2020.

However, CECs and chief officers who spoke to the Nation said initially they were adamant but the move has been an eye opener considering the responsibility bestowed on them to serve residents.