Kenya purchasing new chancery in London for Ksh2 billion

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani. [Photo Star]

The Kenyan government is set to purchase a new building that will house Kenya’s chancery in London, UK at a cost of Ksh2 billion.

The National Treasury has allocated Ksh1 billion in the 2021/2022 financial estimates and has paid Ksh1 billion so far for the new property CS Ukur Yattani said.

These funds were budgeted for under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The current Kenyan chancery in London is rented. Kenya has been working towards cutting down expenses that from rental payment of foreign missions.

Purchasing property to house these missions has been okayed and the government has moved to source good properties for this.

It is estimated that the Kenyan government spends at least Ksh3 billion every year paying rent for foreign embassies.

This becomes the second property that the government is purchasing in the last year.

In 2019, Kenya purchased a property in Switzerland for over Ksh1 billion. The government is set on buying more of these properties in Europe.

Foreign Affairs PS Amb Macharia Kamau asked parliament last year to allocate the ministry Ksh5 billion towards the purchase of offices and residential houses.

Amb Macharia raised concerns on the state of the diplomatic houses abroad, saying that most were outdated having been used since independence.

Kenyan envoys in the US and UK are said to have rented their own residences and were heaping the rental and maintenance cost on taxpayers.

In his budget estimate for 2021/22, Yatani further plans on giving the Foreign Affairs Ministry Ksh50 million for the renovation of the current ambassador’s residence in London.

Another Ksh116 million has been slotted in the budget estimates for the refurbishment of government properties in Kinshasa (DRC), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), New York (US) and Lusaka (Zambia).

This will be part of the Ksh3.6 trillion Kenyan budget for 2021/2022 financial year.