The government is set to spend Sh2 billion on acquiring a new property that will house Kenya’s chancery in London, the United Kingdom.
The Treasury has allocated Sh1 billion in the 2021/2022 financial year for the purchase of the building, according to budget estimates provided by CS Ukur Yatani. The government has already paid Sh1 billion for the new property.
The building that currently houses Kenya’s chancery in London is rented.
The acquisition of the London property is part of the ongoing plans by the government to cut down on rental expenditure by foreign missions.
In a report to parliament last year, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Amb. Macharia Kamau said Kenya spends at least Sh3 billion annually on renting offices and residences for its diplomats abroad.
In 2019, the government bought a property in Switzerland for over Sh1 billion.
PS Kamau said the ministry requires Sh5 billion annually for the next 15 years for the purchase of offices and residential houses for foreign missions.
He also raised concerns on the dilapidated state of most government-owned properties in foreign countries, saying they are old, having been acquired in the early years of Kenya’s diplomacy.
The Treasury has set aside Sh50 million in the next fiscal year for the renovation of the current ambassador’s residence in London and a further Sh116 million for the refurbishment of government properties in Kinshasa (DRC), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), New York (US) and Lusaka (Zambia).