Monday, March 27, 2023 – In what may be construed as a misplaced priority, President William Ruto is now planning to build a new State House in Mombasa at a time hustlers are struggling to put food on their tables due to the high cost of living.
This was revealed by State House Comptroller Katoo Ole Metito when he told Members of Parliament that the old State House in Mombasa was inhabitable and a new one needed to be constructed.
Addressing the National Assembly Committee on Administration and Internal Security members, Metito divulged plans to rebuild the estate, citing the challenges encountered in renovating the building.
Besides, he noted that the old State House Mombasa, which was built in 1897, was in a dilapidated condition which does not befit Ruto.
He explained that the architectural design of the estate built before the advent of the colonial administration was incompatible with current trends in building and construction, hence complicating previous renovation plans.
Metito added that the State was in the process of acquiring the initial architectural designs of the building, which had reportedly been traced in a British Museum.
His sentiments were echoed by the Director of Hospitality at State House Mombasa, Julius Chumo, who explained the challenges hindering the renovation of the House.
“We have had a few challenges trying to renovate it because the technology used then, is not in tandem with the current building trends, making the process delicate and, ultimately, expensive,” the Chumo stated.
In addition, the director revealed challenges experienced in the State House due to the proximity to the Indian Ocean.
Among the concerns raised was the exposure to wind and salty water from the ocean, which he noted risked corroding parts of the building.
In 2022, State House Mombasa was among the state lodges set for a facelift, at Ksh258 million.
The Treasury allocated Ksh94 million in the financial year 2022/23 for the repair of State House and State Lodges. The refurbishment of Mombasa State House was projected to cost Ksh42 million.
The Kenyan DAILY POST