The Star (Nairobi)

27 March 2014

Kenya: Machakos Cuts Spending On Trips, Luxuries

The Machakos government has put measures in place to reduce its recurrent expenditure by 60 per cent.

"We have done away with unnecessary trips, luxuries and are striving to get good value for money in procurement of goods and services," Governor Alfred Mutua said yesterday.

He said the county needs more money for water and infrastructure development.

Mutua said cutting waste of public resources and clamping down on corruption are part of the other austerity measures his government has put in place.

"We started this some time ago when we cheaply procured vehicles for the county government soon after assuming office," he said.

The governor said the tarmacking of the Makutano-Kithimani road was to cost Sh1.3 billion but they have reduced it to Sh650 million by giving the job to 11 contractors who are working round the clock to complete 33 kilometres in four months.

He was speaking in his office when he met British envoy Christian Turner and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission deputy chair Irene Keino.

Turner said five British companies will invest in Machakos in infrastructure, healthcare, housing and low carbon energy projects. He was accompanied by the investors.

The diplomat said austerity measures are being undertaken everywhere following the recession witnessed in the past decade.

"The United Kingdom experienced recession for five years but due to austerity measures and stringent public spending policies, things are looking up again," Turner said.

He urged Kenya to strive and ensure efficiency in public service and cut wastage if it is to meet its development goals. Turner said his government will assist Machakos county in other sectors including tourism, culture, education and agriculture.

He said the county has enormous potential for economic growth. Keino said the anti-corruption agency is closely working with governors to ensure proper procurement and recruitment systems are put in place in the counties.

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