Inside Politics

Questions as Nairobi County invites bids for Sh30m mace

Friday, February 2nd, 2024 07:20 | By
The mace carried into the Assembly by the sergeant-at-arms at the Nairobi County Assembly. PHOTO/David ndolo

Nairobi County Assembly is on the spot after it advertised tender worth Sh30 million to acquire a state-of-the-art Mace with a touch of 18-carrat gold.

Already, the tender for the acquisition of the mace and other items have been published on the Assembly’s website, inviting them to table their bids by February 12.

Mace is a symbol of the power of the House of Representatives, which at the start of each sitting day is carried into the Assembly by the Sergeant-At-Arms and placed on the central table.

A section of MCAs however argue that the plans to acquire the Mace are long overdue while a section of the members have faulted the plans.

Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai, while reacting on X (formerly Twitter), condemned the plans, citing that there were other pressing needs instead of acquiring the golden mace.

“There are very many things that should be spent on. A mace should not be a priority. I condemn this wastage of funds and urge city residents to resist it,” said Alai.

Cash appropriated

However, when contacted, Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Ken Ng’ondi said money set to buy the mace was already appropriated.

“There is nothing wrong at all. This money is already in the budget. I wonder where the alarm is coming from. Actually we should be having a mace which 100 percent and is of higher price,” he said.

According to description in the tender documents, the top of the Mace should be a pointed pyramid design mounted with three solid brass engraved Nairobi County crests visible from either side.

The description says the crest should be engraved in a 3-dimensional base relief style, polished, brushed, and sandblasted texture to enhance its beauty. The crests to be gilded with 18-carrat yellow gold.

The planned mace with standout aesthetics comes at a time when the county topped the list of devolved units with the highest pending bills, with the figure having risen from Sh100.35 billion in June 2022 to Sh107.33 billion at the end of June last year.

The proposed design shows the third piece of the shaft will have five images, with each depicting an iconic feature symbolising a unique aspect of Nairobi County mounted on the shaft.

Images

The Nairobi Expressway image will be used to symbolize technological advancement as Kenyatta International Conference Centre and Nairobi National Park, depict buildings and nature respectively. An image of Second World War memorial soldiers will be used to symbolize national heritage and freedom while the City Hall building will reference devolution.

The tail will be completed with a solid brass foot and plated with 18ct gold. The upper base of the tail will be solid brass with a brushed finish and will be plated in 999 fine silver, with the surface of this part bearing inscriptions of the 85 wards of Nairobi County.

Aside from the mace, the county will also procure a vault with nine separate lockable compartments with a total weight of 500 kg. The vault will be constructed with heavy-duty steel and lined up with fire-resistant materials that can withstand 1,000-degree centigrade temperatures for up to four hours.

The mace symbolises the authority of the Legislature in which it is displayed and utilised. In most Parliaments, no formal business can be transacted in the absence of the mace which owes its origins in the UK and found its way to Kenya in the colonial era.

In 1958, the Speaker of the Legislative Council, Cavendish Bentick, received the mace from the crown Prince. The Parliament of Kenya has used the Mace as part of its legislative undertakings since then, with the tool finding its way into counties when devolution set in.

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