Nairobi City Council will from tomorrow take possession of properties of land rate defaulters and collect rent to recover the rates owed.
Speaking at City Hall on Thursday, new Town Clerk Roba Duba decried the high levels of defaulting and asserted that rates would not be waived now or in the near future as was the norm previously. He also spoke of plans to involve Kenya Revenue Authority in the collection of rates.
Mr. Duba pointed out that the confiscation of properties had to happen so that the council could recover the Ksh 4.5 billion owed in rates arrears and effectively deliver services to Nairobians.
The Town Clerk added that the government was one of the biggest rate defaulters.
Citing Section 17, 18 and 19 of Cap 267 of the Rating Act, the town clerk emphasized that “The council is a creature of the law and this is within its mandate.”
In response to the issues raised by the Chairman of Nairobi Central Business District Association (NCBDA) who had paid him a courtesy call; Mr. Duba said that modernization at City Hall was in the pipeline. He called for stronger partnership between City Hall and the private sector.
NCBDA Chairman Timothy Muriuki who pledged to work closely with the council had a slate of issues which NCBDA would like the Town Clerk to address.
These include: the bad state of council markets, congestion of Mfangano Lane by PSVs, the grabbing of council land and the return of street families and subsequent insecurity.
Mr. Muriuki also spoke of NCBDA’s suggestions that the council should pilot an hourly parking fee and that the private sector can be asked to pool resources to improve the council’s disaster preparedness.
On matters of rates, the Chairman said, “If the government owes the Nairobi City Council then they should pay up. No arm of government is more superior to the other.”