Kirinyaga to repossess 7000 plots whose owners have defaulted on land rates

The County Government of Kirinyaga has begun the process of repossessing land whose owners have not been paying land rates and ground rent. The county government says that owners of about 7000 plots stand to lose their properties on the expiry of a 30-day notice.

According to County Executive Committee Member for Lands, Physical and Urban Planning, Samuel Kanjobe, that the property owners owe the county over Ksh. 250 million in arrears. He said the plots belonging to the county government were allocated to current owners but have not been paying land rates and ground rent as stipulated in agreement. Kanjobe said the defaulters have until March 31 to pay all the levies and arrears failure to which the land, plus any development on it will be taken over by the government.
He asked the defaulters to take advantage of the remaining days to clear their arrears. “This time, the government is determined to take back its land from those who were given the plots but have not been honouring their part of obligation,” he said.

The county government has intensified its revenue mobilization initiative through a campaign “Mapema Ndio Best”. The campaign seeks to ensure a 100 percent compliance on payment of all trading licenses by March 31. Governor Anne Waiguru has asked traders and property owners to pay for their trading licenses to enable government deliver services. “We are asking all the traders and property owners to pay all due licenses and levies so as to enable us continue delivering services. Our hospitals need drugs, we need to pay doctors, rehabilitate roads and ensure uninterrupted supply of water,” Waiguru said.

Land rates are levies imposed on all parcels of land that belongs to the government. The levies are payable to the county governments. Upon full payment of all rates, one is issued with the rates clearance certificate which is conclusive evidence that all rates due and interest accrued have been fully paid.
At the same time, the CEC clarified that the county has not increased the land rates as it was still using the municipal valuation roll. He however said the department is in the process of developing a new valuation roll that could see current land rates increased in future.

A valuation roll is a public legal document containing property information of all ratable properties.
Kanjobe said his department has already issued notices to the defaulters. “We have given people up to the end of this month to come and pay their arrears. However, once the deadline lapses, we are going to repossess land whose levies has not been paid for,” said Kanjobe. Kanjobe the department has set up desks to handle cases of default payment at the county headquarters and sub-county offices. Chief Officer John Makumi said prompt payment of all due levies will help the county government speed up development projects and offer all services

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