Uproar over City Hall's plan to splash Sh30 million on mace

Plans by the Nairobi county assembly to acquire a state-of-the-art 18-carat gold-plated mace has divided MCAs.

Already, the tender for the acquisition of the mace and other items has been published on the assembly's website, inviting bids by February 12.

According to the Annual Development Plan (ADP) 2023-2024, it will cost Sh30 million to acquire 18-carat gold-plated mace.

At the same time, there are plans to construct an armoury and security vaults for the county assembly.

A section of MCAs however argue that the plans to acquire the mace are long overdue while others are faulting the intended purchase.

Nominated MCA Joyce Kamau told The Standard that she supports plans to acquire the mace, arguing that the current wooden mace does not reflect the status of the assembly.

"As much as there are other needs in the county, we need to have a good mace because it is parliamentary. Assembly has its budget and development issues fall under the Executive," Kamau said.

"Nairobi county assembly should have a mace with value so that it can be different with other counties like Garissa," she added.

But Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai took to X (formerly Twitter) to condemn the plan, insisting that there were other pressing needs instead of acquiring the gold-plated mace.

MCA Allan Gathuku said the assembly should continue using the current mace and channel the funds to other priorities.

"To me, that is a lot of money. It is unwise to spend such an amount of money yet people in the county are battling with high cost of living," said Gathuku. 

According to specifications 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 descriptions further state that the crest should be engraved in a 3-dimensional base relief style, polished, brushed, and sandblasted texture to enhance its beauty. The crests should be gilded with 18-carat yellow gold.

"Supporting the crest will be the mace's neck made up of four solid brass struts appearing four times round the mace," states the specifications adding that each strut should be platted in 18-carat gold; the neck be platted with 18-carat gold and will house the four stones.

The miniature crests should have a Kenya national coat of arms crest to appear four times around the mace shaft. The crests will be manufactured in solid brass, filled with colour, coated with vitreous enamelling and plated in 18-carat gold.

The mace shaft will be split into six pieces, each manufactured in brass and plated silver.

According to tender documents some of the features the mace should have to include Nairobi Expressway, KICC, Nairobi National Park, Second World War Memorial soldiers and City Hall building.

The successful bidder shall be required to produce a dummy mace which should be an exact replica of the original mace aesthetics.

The mace symbolises the authority of the assembly. No formal business in the assembly can be transacted in the absence of the mace.

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