TENANTS OF COUNTY HOUSES VOW NOT TO PAY RENT UNTIL KIAMBU COUNTY GOVT LISTEN THEM

Tenants residing in county government houses in Thika Sub-County, Sunday evening at the Thika Community Hall Ground, vowed not to pay rent or respond to any communication regarding the same from the Kiambu County Government until their grievances had been resolved. They were reacting to a 'verification of occupants of county houses' circular dated 22nd July 2015 by the Kiambu County Director of Land, Housing & Physical Planning Mr. Dominic Muchemi, which demanded them to fill in and return the form to the county office not later than 30th July 2015. The letter had warned that anyone who failed to comply with this directive would be treated as an illegal occupant and would be forcifully evicted from the county premises without prior notice.
Through their association, JAMOFASTAR WELFARE ASSOCIATION, with a membership of over 25,000 stakeholders, they claimed that the county authorities were demanding from the tenants, information that was already in their database. This they said, was a punitive measure to revenge the association's move to sue the county government over the Kiambu Finance Act 2014-15. They also wondered where the county government expected them to get the payment receipts for the last three months whereas they knew very well that the occupants had not been paying rent awaiting the determination of their petition in the High Court contesting the rents, fees and charges levied to them in the Kenya Finance Act 2014-15.
JAMOFASTAR  chairperson Mr. Robert Gakuru further pointed out that the county government's action amounted to contempt of court since their petition was still awaiting determination by the High Court. He accused them of dishonesty as they had hoodwinked the tenants that they had reduced the rates by half only for the tenants to find out that the rates hadn't changed. The manner in which these circulars were distributed too contravened the law since no member had been personally served. They were haphazardly dumped into doorsteps and compound and later on, the county government sent a vehicle mounted with loudspeakers, threatening rent 'defaulters' and those who hadn't filled in and returned these forms of evictions.


However, the members, who consist of tenants of Jamuhuri, Ofafa, Starehe, Ziwani, Kimathi, UTI, Magoko, Bondeni, Teacher's Quarters (Majengo) Estates etc, declared that they won't be intimidated into submitting into the County Government's draconian and unlawful approach to this impasse. They vowed to defend their rights to the end. They said that they were not opposed to paying rent but only called on the county government to follow due process to resolve the stalemate.
Present at the gathering were all officials of the re-constituted committee and members of similar organisations from Kiambu, Ruiru and Juja who put the tenants through all the legal aspects concerning the same in relation to the Kenyan Constitution and the County Government Act of 2012. 


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