Kenya: Housing PS Reveals How Uhuru Houses Will Be Allocated

Construction of civil servants' houses in Kisumu County (file photo).

A top government official has said beneficiaries of the President Uhuru Kenyatta's housing levy fund will be picked through a lottery system.

During an interview with Citizen TV on Tuesday night, Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga said despite all employees being forced to contribute to the scheme, when it comes to owning them only those who are successfully balloted will.

The government intends to deduct 1.5 percent from about three million salaried employees to fund construction of 500,000 houses before Jubilee Party's term ends.

"One has to register besides contributing before a house is allocated to them. A lottery system will be used to determine who gets a house," said Mr Hinga.

DEDUCTION COMPULSORY

Mr Hinga also made it clear that the contribution will be compulsory being funded through a Public-Private Partnership, which requires an assurance of continuous cash flow.

He told Kenyans they have to pay whether they like it or not, since they elected the Jubilee government.

"The fact that you elected them, you knew that they made a commitment and so they have got to fulfill it."

Asked why the government wants to force even people who already own houses, or those who have taken mortgages, Mr Hinga said they can as well bequeath their units to their servants or relatives.

"The housing fund levy is a contribution because if you do not get a house, you can assign your contribution to your son, daughter or relative. It gives you a direct benefit which a tax doesn't," said Mr Hinga.

VISION 2030

He said the project is part of the government's way to implement a medium term programme towards attaining Vision 2030 as well as implementing constitutional requirements.

Mr Hinga's comments seemed to have angered many Kenyans, who are already sceptical about the viability of the housing scheme viewing it as another opportunity for government officials to swindle taxpayers' money with impunity.

"Lottery system?! So I have my salary deducted, a house is constructed/bought whatever it is, then [I] am exposed to a lottery where I lose. God intervene!" Mr Reuben Zia said on Twitter.

Several Kenyans started online campaigns using different hashtags on Twitter against the housing levy which was recently temporarily suspended by a court order.

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