Viral photos capturing the official residence of Mandera Governor have elicited mixed reactions from Kenyans.
In photos shared on social media, the residence is located on the outskirts of Mandera town and stands on massive land.
According to a section of netizens, the County government is misadvised on its priorities since the majority of Mandera population is living in poverty and lacks basic needs including water and food.
For instance, there have been cases of insecurity in the region as well as the lack of social amenities like good hospitals and schools.
09:10 The official residence of Mandera governor in Mandera vs the “state of the art borehole” in Mandera as the woman struggles to get “clean” water for domestic use! pic.twitter.com/mYYt3hIb6j via @AmakanjiThomas
— ReportTaka (@report_taka) October 14, 2021
Ultimately, Mandera Governor Ali Rioba together with a section of county employees are caught up in corruption allegations and misappropriation of county funds.
In documents seen by Kahawa Tungu, the then Inspector-General of Police was ordered to present Governo Ali Rioba in court for misappropriation of funds.
It was reported that on May 19, 2014, the Mandera county government entered into an agreement with the Kenya Red Cross E-plus Limited for the provision of ambulance services to the county.
The county government spent Sh40,171,759 for six ambulances which translated to Sh600,000 per month for every ambulance.
Consequently, on May 23, 2016, the county government again despite caution from the procurement department purchased an armored vehicle for the county boss at a cost of Sh16,935,000. This price was reportedly inflated.
In the same county, hundreds have been left homeless and several others including police officers killed due to insecurity.
In yet another incident of corruption, a county employee attached to Mandera was ordered to give up to the state Sh61 million believed to have been acquired illegally.
The employee, Abdi Mohamed Ali was said to have acquired the money fraudulently hence directed to surrender to the government.
With all these corruption cases, insecurity and lack of effective social amenities, the priorities of the county Government should not be on constructing an official residence for the county boss. Rather, the needs of the people should be met first including their security and improved standards of living.
Here are some reactions from Twitter:
The official residence of the Mandera Governor on the outskirts of Mandera town.
Then, these people of North Eastern Region will claim that No money for devolution. pic.twitter.com/GnRG4CwqJt
— MARIAX (@KisiiCool) October 14, 2021
Mandera Governor residence.
The same Governor was in Statehouse & GoK offices begging for drought relief money.
ASAL counties received 1 Trillion between 2013-2020 in Devolution funds.
They didn’t invest in food security, only buildings & flats in Eastleigh & Kileleshwa. pic.twitter.com/m3d5y9zTrF
— Cyprian, Is Nyakundi (@CisNyakundi) October 14, 2021
If official residence of Mandera governor looks like this, Devolution must be working!!! The only problem is how the county governments prioritises their work. pic.twitter.com/vAA0yOxg1P
— Enock Waka (@waka_enock) October 14, 2021