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Mudavadi Hard-Pressed to Explain Ksh1.74 Billion Spending for Purchase of London Embassy

Members of Parliament questioned Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi’s request for an additional Ksh350 million towards purchasing a new London embassy and renovating the New York facility.

While appearing before the Committee on Defence, Intelligence, and Foreign Relations, Mudavadi was hard-pressed to explain why his docket sought additional funds despite the Ksh1.74 billion already allocated to the purchase of the London chancery.

Kenya has been seeking to purchase a new office block for its mission in the United Kingdom following the expiry of the lease for the chancery for the High Commissioner and staff in October 2021.

According to lawmakers, the project stalled despite the monies being allocated because the tender for the same (purchase of chancery building) was invalidated after Kenya failed to get a conveyancing lawyer to handle the purchase process.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi

A previous audit by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu showed that the country had spent around Ksh58.63 million yearly to rent the chancery in London from 2021 to August 2023. Thereafter, the price was hiked to Ksh95.18 million.

The audit report by Gathungu highlighted the poor conditions for some of the buildings that house Kenya’s diplomats.

To mitigate the issue, the government allocated Ksh2.3 billion for the construction and repairs of Kenyan embassies situated globally in the 2024/25 budget estimates.

Repair of government properties in New York is set to cost Ksh841 million, followed by embassies in Lusaka (Ksh30 million), Mogadishu (Ksh25 million), Rome (Ksh21 million), Washington DC (Ksh20 million) and Dar es Salaam (Ksh20 million).

Other embassies lined up for construction include Kinshasa (Ksh20 million), Addis Ababa (Ksh20 million), Hague (Ksh15 million), Pretoria (Ksh10 million) and Kampala (Ksh10 million).

Kenya has over 60 diplomatic missions abroad which primarily serves the country’s interests.