Over Sh310million was spent to purchase an official residence for the Chief Justice, but nine years down the line, the house located in the high-end Runda Estate in Nairobi is a ghost house lying in waste-and each passing day the lavish home is dilapidating and agitating for more cash for renovations.
Neither the two former CJ’s Willy Mutunga and David Maraga occupied it nor has their predecessor CJ Martha Koome has occupied it.
However, millions of taxpayers’ money continue to be gobbled up in maintainance and renovation works for a posh ghost house in an apparent wastage without value for money derived from the expenditures amounting to millions of shillings annually.
No one lives there and no activities takes place in the premised that was purchased by the Judiciary in a shadow on controversy from the former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama in 2013-leading to a probe by Parliament and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (Eacc).
The house was purchased for use as the official residence of former CJ Mutunga and his successors but its transaction saw former Judiciary Registrar Gladys Shollei, now Uasin Gishu Woman Representative and seven others people paraded in court for failure to comply with procurement laws.
A spot check by The Informer revealed that the bungalow which has an abandoned swimming pool on its backside only accommodates two administration police officers deployed to provide security and a farmhand hired to take care of the compound.
When Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi appeared before the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC), she said that they could not have interfered with the property because EACC had its control after it arrested some officials over its purchase.
“We wrote to Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) asking whether we can proceed to renovate the house and whether doing so would jeoprardise a court case. By the time we got a response, it was a whole process because our request had to undergo a lot of processing within the EACC and the courts,” said Amadi.
The purchase was also a subject to a probe by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee and former Bundalangi MP Ababu Namwamba who also doubles as former Chief Administration Secretary (CAS) at the Foreign Affairs ministry lee the committee visited the property as the chair.
The tour which happened in October 2014 was part of the investigations by the committee on among other things, a possible collusion between the Judiciary and a valuer during the purchase of the House.