City Hall defends bid to clamp Kenya Power offices
City Hall has held in court that the law allows it to charge Kenya Power rent for electricity poles and wayleaves on road reserves.
The county government has made the submissions in a case in which it is seeking the court’s green light to recover Sh641 million from the power supplier.
S K Mburu, the director of roads at City Hall, says that county governments are allowed to charge the rent despite the repeal of the Local Authorities Act of 2002 which was phased out by the new Constitution.
Mr Mburu insists that the national government’s failure to assist Kenya Power to settle the rent arrears forced it to clamp down the electricity supplier’s Stima Plaza in March, as City Hall needs the Sh641 million to deliver more services to Nairobi residents.
Kenya Power has sued City Hall to challenge the claim, arguing that the demand could stall its normal operations at Stima Plaza.
City Hall insists that other firms like Safaricom and Liquid Telecom that have equipment on road reserves within Nairobi have been honouring rent payments hence Kenya Power should not be exempted from the payments.
“The then Local Government Act gave legal power to the local authorities to charge fees for any licences and any permit and to charge any for any facility provided. That position did not change with the repealing of the Act. It is not just Kenya Power that is charged annual rent for wayleave space on road reserves. In the year 2015 Safaricom was charged Sh18 million, Liquid Telecom Sh17 million, AccessKenya Sh7 million and Wananchi Group Sh9 million,” Mr Mburu holds.