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Big 4 Agenda: Sonko now seeks to talk Uhuru out of cheap housing promise

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has opposed implementation of the housing levy, even though his county stands to benefit the most.

As part of the ‘Big 4’ agenda in his final term, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s housing levy seeks to tax every employed Kenyan 1.5 percent of his monthly salary.

Employers are also expected to contribute a similar amount.

Proceeds will be channeled towards building 500,000 affordable houses which will – according to Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga – be distributed to Kenyans on a ‘lottery’ basis.

But Sonko has argued that Kenyans are ‘poor’ and should not be taxed further.

“In as much as I support the affordable housing programme and the entire Big 4 Agenda za rais wetu mpendwa who happens to be my friend, mentor and like an elder brother to me and putting into consideration that Nairobi County is targeting to deliver 200,000 housing units in three years, I beg to oppose the housing levy the government is intending to impose Nairobians and Kenyans in general,” Sonko wrote on Facebook.

He also revealed that he will be seeking an audience with President Kenyatta in a bid to talk him out of the proposed tax.

“A big percentage of wakenya ni maskini sana na those employed wanapata mapato ya chini sana. I will be looking for HE the President when he comes back next week and try to address this issue with a lot of humility for this housing levy ya kunyanyasa wakenya to be suspended and withdrawn.’

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), Federation of Kenya Employees (FKE) have also led a section of Kenyans in opposing the taxation for various reasons.