Belgut Member of Parliament (MP) Nelson Koech, on Tuesday, June 6, was put on the spot by Citizen TV’s Ayub Abdikadir to explain the management of funds to be collected through the proposed Housing Levy.
Abdikadir tasked the parliamentarian with explaining why the government was instituting a mandatory 3 per cent salary cut when the former administration had executed a similar program without deductions.
Koech was also asked to explain how the money collected would be accounted for.
“According to the Economic Survey Report, 2023, plans approved by Nairobi County increased by 58 per cent to Ksh162 billion. Similarly, the number of residential units completed by the State Department for Housing increased more than threefold to 1390 units.
“If the government had funded the project before, why do you need extra money to fund what has been ongoing already? Abdikadir, Citizen TV's fast-rising anchor, posed.
Koech first remarked that the housing levy was included in the Kenya Kwanza manifesto and that Ruto was hellbent on fulfilling it.
"The President is creating employment through the housing levy. The money that will be collected will be put in a consolidated fund,” he explained.
Koech then fumbled to explain the mechanisms of the consolidated fund.
“Sorry, I correct myself. The money will go into an account. It will be a pool where the funds will be used as security when contractors go on site,” the MP quickly recovered and explained.
Koech stated that there was a framework to make sure that the money was used prudently. He was at pains though to explain the details of the framework.
Jumping to his defence, Eldas MP Adan Keyna revealed that there was no framework yet but it was in the pipeline.
"It is a process. We will create regulations after the passing of the Finance Bill," he explained.
Earlier during the interview, Koech had also been put on the spot by Abdikadir for claiming that the unemployed Kenyans were sustaining the employed in Kenya.
“I mean, everyone in Kenya pays taxes through the commodities they buy,” again, he recovered and defended his sentiments.
Abdikadir also cornered Makueni Senator Dan Maanzo and his Kisii counterpart Richard Onyonka for opposing the housing levy, which was part of Raila Odinga’s manifesto.
“Raila is not the President. He did not win so what he promised is not relevant now,” Onyonka defended himself.
Under pressure from Abdikadir, he conceded Raila would have enacted the levy by stating, “If he had won the presidency, I would expect them (Kenya Kwanza) to be challenging him to explain.”
Maanzo, under pressure from the journalist, remarked that Raila would probably have fulfilled the housing agenda.
“Raila had proposed a 1.5 per cent levy and it would have gone to consolidated fund,” he conceded.