Vihiga County Governor Wilber Ottichilo has come under sharp scrutiny after it emerged the County chief splurges in excess of Sh150, 000 on monthly hotel accommodation and yet his people are languishing in poverty.
Ottichilo, who emerged the best-performing Member of Parliament, is now under public watch since becoming the governor.
Ottichilo has been living in a hotel since his election in 2017.
The county coughs out Sh150, 000 every month as he awaits completion of the official residence by the end of this year.
The governor’s official residence on a two-hectare parcel at Enderi in Sabatia sub-county will cost Sh180 million. The land cost Sh23.9 million while the design for the house cost Sh24 million.
Until then, the governor holes up in a hotel and leaked tenancy agreements reads in part that “the county government of Vihiga shall thus pay to the landlord i.e. Sosa Villas Management Limited the sum of Sh1, 200,000.
The balance of the annual rent of Sh600, 000 shall be paid by the county governor in monthly equal instalments of Sh50,000.”
The hotel, which is solely owned by Musalia Mudavadi, is five kilometers from the county headquarters. It is a popular place and many county functions are hosted there.
Ottichilo hardly steps in his rural home in Emanyinya, Central Bunyore Ward, Emuhaya Constituency, unlike his predecessor, Moses Akaranga, who lived at his home in Elwunza where residents sought his attention most mornings.
During a local radio show, Ottichilo explained that “as a governor, I need an official residence where I can conduct my official businesses away from my private home.”
The holder of a doctorate in Natural Resource Management and Space Science further added that, “the county official residence will help me host cocktails, celebrations as well as entertain guests, who will also have an opportunity of having something.”
Ottichilo’s deputy Dr Patrick Saisi, on the other hand, lives in Kisumu’s Ruby Estate and not his rural home at Cheptulu village in Hamisi Sub-County.
Part of Dr Saisi’s leaked tenancy agreement reads in part that, “the county pays Sh90,000 per month as rent for the deputy governor, translating to an annual rent of Sh1,080,000 inclusive of service charge but clear of any deductions, rent reviewed upward after every two years by both parties agreeing.”