Murkomen speaks of his Sh900k watch, Sh20,000 tie

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Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen [Facebook]

Kenyans were stunned on Monday when Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen revealed some of the most expensive items he owns. He mentioned a watch worth Sh900,000, a belt costing between Sh40,000 to Sh50,000, shoes worth Sh70,000 to Sh80,000, and a tie costing Sh20,000.

Murkomen tried to downplay his wealth, saying he only needed one belt every two years and that it could be worn on either side to give the impression of owning two belts. He also advised the host, Obinna, to buy one belt worth Sh 50,000 that can be worn on both sides.

“Black on one side and brown on the other side. When you turn it, people think you have two belts,” he said.

Murkomen made these revelations while speaking on the Obinna Show Live. However, Kenyans were shocked, taking to X to express their surprise. This disclosure comes at a time when many Kenyans are struggling to afford basic items, while members of the political class are perceived to be living opulently.

In the past, Murkomen has been pictured wearing a Rolex watch worth said to be Sh3 million, another Classic Fusion Ceramic King Gold watch currently worth Sh1.3 million, using a pen said to be worth Sh50,000, and Gucci shoes valued at Sh131,000.

The CS acknowledged that Kenyans have been talking about his apparent extravagance, which he referred to as vanity. He continued to downplay the costs of his items, saying, "There are two watches that have gone viral on social media. The first one I bought, it was not as expensive as they said, and the second one a friend of mine, who sells watches, offered me a Rolex at a third (30 percent) of the price being claimed on social media. He even gave me time to pay in installments."

Murkomen addressed the questions he had been receiving from Kenyans regarding his expensive watches and shoes, suggesting that investing the money in financial markets might have been more prudent. He hinted at reducing either his overspending or his showiness, though it was unclear what he meant when he referred to it as his weakness.

"I want to tell all Kenyans who faulted me for wearing those watches that that is my weakness, and I am willing to correct myself. If a watch or shoe is going to distract the people I serve from the key things that I must be held accountable for, I have said to my friends that the watches can stay,” he said.

Kenyans have expressed on social media that the opulence displayed by some members of the political class is often seen as proceeds of corruption, obtained using public funds. Murkomen, however, insisted that he buys all his items with his own money.

CS Kipchumba Murkomen [Facebook]

During his vetting by the National Assembly Committee on appointments for the position of cabinet secretary, Murkomen disclosed that he was worth Sh 550 million, attributed to his properties and businesses.

“Mr. Speaker, I'm worth an estimated Sh550 million made up of majorly properties; my house in Nairobi and another in Eldoret, three parcels of land in Trans Nzoia, a parcel of land in Narok, in Kajiado, and in Nairobi apart from where I live,” he said then.

"I practice law under the firm of SMS LLP Advocates, which is one of my main sources of income. Additionally, I've been earning a salary from my job as Elgeyo Marakwet senator, and I also have some earnings from farming.”

On Obinna’s show, Murkomen reiterated that he is ready to be audited. Earlier, he had stated on X that, in line with the current national conversation and to address concerns about state and public officers living beyond their means, individuals should be audited.

“I propose that Parliament urgently introduces and passes a Lifestyle Audit Bill to provide the parameters for auditing state and public officers and to investigate their living standards to ascertain consistency with their lawful income. The bill should, among other things, set the maximum cost of personal wear/outfits, cars, etc. I submit,” he said.

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