Governor Mike Sonko has extended a waiver on the rent payable to the Nairobi City County for another six months to cushion the city residents from the negative economic impact.
In a letter to the County Secretary and Head of County Public Services Justus Kathenge on Friday, the Governor said his attention has been drawn to the outcry of the majority of the county tenants.
Sonko noted that Kenya has not been spared from the negative social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and Nairobi has been the epicentre of the disease in the country.
The residents were complaining of persistent harassment by officers from Kenya Revenue Authority and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) over arrears.
“Nairobi City County is not a profit-making organization, but rather established by the Constitution of Kenya to serve the public. Therefore, I do hereby extend the waiver granted for a period of a further six months as our residents continue to recover economically from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic,” directed Sonko.
John Momanyi, a resident of Jamhuri Estate claimed they have been harassed for some time and Sonko’s intervention came at the right moment.
“We have been having sleepless nights for being harassed by the officials from KRA and NMS. Our calls for help are not being answered and that is why we have asked the governor to step in,” he stated.
While addressing the nation on Monday, April 6, President Uhuru Kenyatta had appealed to landlords to reduce rent for their tenants. The president's appeal came days after the Landlords and Tenants Association of Kenya (LATAK) called for landlords across the country to offer their tenants rent waivers for the months of April, May and June.
When the covid-19 pandemic began, the government made it clear that the state would not compel landlords to waive rent but they were free to do it on their own.
The county government has more than 16,000 houses and plans are already underway to upgrade them into modern buildings.
Mukuru slums are scheduled for an upgrade in a Ksh15 billion programme through which 13,000 new housing units will be built.
The county government has also launched the construction of a Ksh7 billion public residential apartments in Ngara Estate.
The project will see the construction of 3,000 units comprising eight blocks of 34 storeys for low and middle-income earners.