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Kenya Gov’t Seeks to Buy Guesthouses and Luxury Cars for Visiting Presidents and VIPs

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Kenya Gov’t Seeks to Buy Guesthouses and Luxury Cars for Visiting Presidents and VIPs

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested parliament to allocate it funds for the purchase guesthouses for visiting presidents and other foreign dignitaries.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo in a report to parliament says the move is aimed at cutting the cost of hotel accommodation and ensure availability of lodging for foreign dignitaries.

The ministry is also seeking to acquire limousines and other luxury cars for local travel of VIP State guests.

"The ministry seeks to acquire suitable guesthouses for high-level dignitaries visiting the country. This will cut costs of hotel accommodation and ensure there is always availability of accommodation and reduce dependency on hotels. This will also ensure security and confidentiality," the report reads as quoted by Business Daily.

The government spends millions of shillings on reception and accommodation of visiting guests at five-star hotels such as Villa Rosa Kempinski, where a presidential suite costs about Sh1.74 million ($15,000) and goes for Sh578,500 ($5,000) per night, as per rates posted on its website.

Omamo did not disclose the budget and the number of guesthouses and luxury vehicles the ministry plans to acquire in the plan tabled in parliament for review.

She indicated that the ministry intents to buy ceremonial or protocol vehicles complete with provision for flag pendants.

The protocol vehicles will be stationed on the airside of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to chauffeur very-very important persons (VVIPS) and very important persons (VIPs) from flights to lounges and protocol offices during the meet-and-greet duty.

"The ministry has a large fleet of old vehicles hence increased maintenance costs. In addition, unlike in other international airports, JKIA does not have protocol cars stationed within the tarmac area/airside to facilitate VVIPs and VIPs on arrival and departure (boarding and disembarking)," said Omamo.

"There is also inadequate dedicated transport for senior staff, local errands and to ferry staff and goods which hampers service delivery of the ministry."
 
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