2 August 2012

Kenya: Council Repossess Plots Over Arrears

THE City Council of Kisumu has put land and property owners on notice, over its intention to repossess plots to recover part of Sh4 billion that is owed in rates.

City Town Clerk, Christopher Rosana and Mayor Sam Okello say the council has gotten court orders to reclaim individual plots whose owners have refused to pay the rates.

Top among the debtors, are government institutions which are overdue in their remittances.

The town clerk said, the council is unable to deliver services and initiate projects because of financial constraints, partly occasioned by failure to pay the levy charges.

"We are not able to meet the needs of the council, because most of our money is in the hands of individuals who have refused to pay up", said the town clerk.

The town clerk said the council has finalised court process of recovering the money.

"We have secured three court orders for repossession and we are still looking for more orders, before we start the crackdown", said Rosana.

He said the council will seize control of buildings and possess land unless the owners pay.

The council intends to publish the list of defaulters in local newspapers to name and shame them, the Mayor Okello said. Some of the defaulters are prominent people, including politicians, Okello said.

The council also issued notices to owners of old buildings to either demolish or rebuild them and those that need renovation to be refurbished.

The mayor said, the council will penalise owners of buildings deemed to be old and abandoned and not well renovated.

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