Kinyanjui blames rent defaulting on politicians

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 00:00 |
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui. Photo/PD/FILE

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui yesterday defended his administration over its failure to recover a Sh240 million debt owed by tenants residing in the defunct municipal council houses.

Kinyanjui also cited ghost workers, ballooned wage bill and diminishing collection of own source revenue as some of the challenges taking a heavy toll on the county’s development agenda.

The disclosures emerged as senators interrogated the governor over audit queries flagged by former Auditor General Edward Ouko in his report  for County Executive for the financial year ending June 30, 2018.

Appearing before the Senate Committee on County Public and Accounts Committee (CPAIC), Kinyanjui claimed the county government had attempted unsuccessfully to evict tenants as incitement from politicians has continuously frustrated his administration’s attempt to recover the debt has been accumulating for the past ten years.

“Tenants are incited by the political class to default and resist eviction. This has resulted into ugly incidences which has forced the county to suspend the exercise due to clashes with enforcement officers,” the governor said.

“It’s also worth noting that most of these houses are old and dilapidated which could also be a contributing factor to resistance to pay rent required,” he added.

The governor argued that the devolved unit is currently assessing the extent of damages in those houses with a view of carrying out necessary renovations.

In the report, the auditors had observed that records presented for audit review revealed that rent outstanding as at June 30th 2018 was Sh200 million and Sh21 million for Nakuru East and Naivasha sub counties respectively.

Further, the Nakuru County finance act 2016 stated that a surcharge shall be levied for rental default at a cumulative rate of 1 per cent per month resulting to computed surcharge of Sh27 million.

“Therefore, the total amount outstanding from house rent including the 1 per cent surcharge on rent arrears was Sh248 million,” the audit report read it part.

The auditor disclosed that people living in Nakuru East estates like Kivumbini, Paul Machanga, Flamingo were among those who were not paying monthly due to unexplained reasons and the county was not evicting. 

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