County Hall to pay residents to keep order in estates
Residents may soon earn a commission from City Hall for performing services outsourced to them through neighbourhood lobby groups.
The arrangements will be made under residents’ associations which will be charged with tasks such as garbage collection, road maintenance and levy collection among others.
The provisions are contained in a Bill that is being drafted by County Hall and the Kenya Alliance of Residents Associations (Kara), expected to be tabled in the County Assembly next month.
“A technical committee with representatives from Kara and the county government has been formed and is working on the County Residents Associations Engagement Bill 2014,” said Kara CEO Stephen Mutoro.
“The residents associations will, for instance, maintain estate roads, drainage, parking and look after gardens. These will be outsourced to the associations under the residents’ association. The associations will be entitled to a percentage of the collections,” said Kara chairman Richard Nyaga.
If passed, the Bill will mean many services being transferred to the residents in much the same way the Karen Lang’ata District Association has been responsible for services in their area.
The Kara officials were speaking during a forum to address the recent land rate increase.
Last week, Kaputei Residents Association was granted stay orders on the new rates pending hearing and determination of a case they have filed challenging the new rates.
Other associations want to be enjoined in the case that could deny the county as much as Sh2.8 billion if the court rules in the residents’ favour.
Rates gone up
Last year, County Hall collected Sh2.8 billion when it was charging land rates at 17 per cent of the unimproved site value. This has, however, gone up to 34 per cent.
While it was the right of the county government to collect rates, Mr Nyaga said they needed to ensure the charges were fair, that they consulted the people on how much to levy and provided services commensurate with the charges.
The accountant in charge of rates at County Hall, Mr Stephen Mureithi, said while some people may pay the old rates awaiting the determination of the case, the balance will — starting April 1 — attract a penalty of three per cent a month.
“If we should lose, you have a credit for next year, but if we win, you’ll pay the other half and the interest,” he said.