Tuesday, February 3, 2009



By Isaac Ongiri

The Government will spend Sh700 million to buy the Shell and BP House at the end of April. This follows the signing of a purchase contract with the owner of the building situated on Harambee Avenue.

Housing PS Tirop Kosgey on Monday told The Standard that further renovations would be undertaken in the building to fit the needs of its new occupant after the current tenants move.

However, he said the Government had not yet determined the extra cost it would incur in repairs of the building.

"Yes we have paid them Sh700 million and given the current occupants notice to vacate. We expect to take over in three months time," the PS said.

The two parties harmonised initial disagreements over the buying of the house before striking a deal.

Shell and BP House will be the Prime Minister’s new office and all officers working under him will be accommodated there.

The PM’s parliamentary secretariat headed by Kipkemboi arap Kirui will also be relocated to the new facility.

All departments under the PM’s office including the ministry of Public Service will be relocated to the new facility by July.

Inadequate space at the Treasury Building, which hosts departments under the PM forced the relocation of some officers to neighbouring Government offices last month.

A new teleconference facility donated by Cisco International, which would enable the PM to engage other leaders in video conferencing, could not be set up for lack of space.

On Monday, Tirop said the Government had now shelved plans to purchase land for the building of the PM’s office after it acquired the new facility.

Some MPs have criticised the allocation of Sh700 million for the purchase of the building, saying the money should instead be channelled to cater for urgent needs.

The PS also announced that his ministry would work out a fire-safety policy, which all city landlords would be compelled to abide by to reduce the number of loses caused by fire.

"We are concerned about the increasing incidences of fire where Kenyans are subjected to heavy losses," the PS said.

He said the policy would ensure houses being built meet the required fire safety standards.