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An Open Letter to Kiambu County Government

By Chomba Wambui Jane

It is with lots of pain that we, Kiambu residents, write to the county government under the stewardship of His Excellency the Governor William Kabogo over the kind of exploitation that you are exerting on the real estate developers and home owners.

Your recent price increments on various items in the building and construction industry is proving to be hell for the low income earners who wish to put up homes within the county. It is good to remind you that majority of us secure these plots of land and build our homes through the acquisition of bank loans. This means that we are expected to pay back these loans with interest, paying our other bills notwithstanding.

In particular, I fail to understand how your office came up with the following rate in your new Building Act, which according to me and the rest of the real estate developers, are punitive and driving away potential investors who would have otherwise invested in our county:-

How does Kiambu County Government justify the increase of the charges for ‘Change of User’ from Ksh. 11,000 to Ksh. 120,000 per every plot of land? This also includes an extra sh. 5,000 for provisional valuation services.

We are also taking issue with the new rates introduced by the county government when erecting a perimeter fence. It now cost one sh. 500 per meter to erect a fence. This is to mean that if one owns a plot of 100 by 50ft, one is expected to pay 2(50+100) ÷ 3.3 X sh.500 = sh. 45,455 for the wall alone.
The Authority letter for Temporary Boundary Fencing (Concrete Poles & Chain link fence) costs sh. 5,000 for any plot below 0.1ha.

This is disregarding the fact that the developer may be erecting the wall to avoid any intruders from invading their plot or they may have borrowed a loan to build a one-roomed house due to their meager earnings.

Then comes the Fees for Evaluation of Building Plans and Permits (sh. 6,000) for a 0 - 46 sq.m room, single dwelling occupation permit (sh.5,000) and sh. 6,000 for construction inspection, enforcement and occupation permits if one is building outside the CBD.

NB: Structural Engineering Drawings is levied at 50% of initial architectural building plans charges

Considering that one has to go through all those steps to fully comply with the county building regulations, Kiambu residents feel exploited and forced to abandon their building plans due to these exorbitant charges.

It is for this reason we as the rate payers, are demanding an explanation as to why the county government is discouraging low income earners a chance to own a home in the county.

I am reminding Governor William Kabogo that not all people are wealthy enough to raise all those fee and at the same manage to put up their own homes.

Don’t make regret why we had to move to the devolved system of government as we believe that it was meant to ease life not to oppress the taxpayers and milk them dry. 

The writer is an investor in Thika Town

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