Nairobi County government spent Sh140 million on Obama, Pope visits

President Uhuru Kenyatta watches former US President Barack Obama sign a guest book after arriving in Kenya on July 24, 2015

Nairobi City County government splashed over Sh140 million on then USA President Barack Obama and Catholic Pope Francis separate visits to Kenya in 2015.

Under former governor Evans Kidero’s leadership, City Hall sunk Sh135, 807, 879 on the two world leaders visit and incurred an additional Sh5 million in running a “Beautification Account”.

Obama toured Kenya in July 2015 and in November of the same year, Pope paid a visit. However, in preparation for their tour, Kanjo withdrew the money in three phases against set rules, says the Auditor-General report on City Hall’s Finance Management.

Apparently Pope’s tour chewed the lion’s share of Sh96.2 million.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Pope Francis during his departure on 27th November 2015

Appearing before County Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the County Finance department claimed they spent on supplies after the national government duped them they would chip in.

“...The national government pledged to finance the beautification to a tune of Sh60million which they failed to honour thus the county government had to pay the supplies,” then acting Chief Finance Officer Luke Gatimu told PAC.

However, PAC, after probing the expenditure they regarded a breach of provisions of Public Finance Management Act, has urged Director of Public Prosecution to institute prosecution of then Finance and Planning County Boss Gregory Mwakanongo.

PAC has also directed Governor Mike Sonko’s administration to pursue Uhuru Kenyatta’s government to reimburse the Sh60 million it pledged only to dishonour the promise.