Reports that Kenya lacks the title deeds for embassies in several countries, including Japan where the infamous Sh1.4 billion Tokyo embassy scandal exposed the rot of dealing in states assets abroad, are disheartening.
With the Ministry of Foreign Affairs admitting that Kenya has no title documents for 13 of its foreign properties spread across the world, quick action is needed to secure the crucial documents.
Callous treatment of the matter risks losing properties bought with taxpayers’ money.
The law provides that a complete fixed asset register is maintained detailing all properties outside Kenya’s borders and the ministry has to get its act together and maintain a full updated register of the properties.
The register should be given to the Auditor-General at the time of audit as MPs demanded so that we are sure the properties have been secured.
It would save the government a lot of money currently spent on recurrent expenditure inform of rentals and lease charges if it owned properties abroad. However with the status of current holdings in doubt over lack of ownership documents, there is little confidence that new acquisitions would be done appropriately.