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Governor Lenku Sets Eye on Billions Companies Owe County

Governor Joseph Lenku has set an eye on more than Sh38 billion owed by various mining companies in royalties and land rates.

Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd’s cargo train detained on January 12 by county government over debt of land rates amounting to Sh17 billion.

A company contracted to recover the debt, Regional Business Connections, yesterday came up with an elaborate list of most companies that owe the county millions of shillings.

Its investigations officer and debt collector, who chose anonymity because of the nature of the business he is engaged in, said the amount he is targeting in cash is the largest in the country since 2013.

“The more than Sh38 billion we are going for on behalf of county government is going to be a record of all time for counties since devolution,” said the investigation officer.

Leading the pack is Tata Chemicals Magadi which owes the county government Sh17 billion in land rates and more than Sh2 billion in mining royalties as per County Finance Act, said the investigator.

He said he is looking at the total tonnage that company made between 2013 and 2018 so that he can calculate the actual amount of royalties the county should have made from Tata Chemicals.

Another company being targeted is East African Portland Cement Company Ltd which currently owes the county government Sh85 million in cess collection and land rates.

EAPCC is also being pursuing mining royalties from manufacturing companies that draw their raw materials from the region.

On the list are National Cement Company, Kenchic and other major quarry operators in the region.

Others the collector is targeting are advertisement agencies with billboards, signage and single permit operators and Matatu Saccos in Ongata Rongai and Ngong who have been evading paying for monthly stickers.

Already the debt collector has advised governor Lenku to seek the support of NTSA in stopping them from getting TLB operation documents.

Once denied a TLB, matatus cannot operate on our roads. TLBs give operators the right of operating on certain routes on the country’s roads.

On target also, according to investigators, is Jamii Bora Bank which has housing property in Kisaju, Kajiado, that is alleged to be operating without paying land rates.

The investigator hinted that he is also going for buildings without plan approval by county government and other companies that bought land and opening businesses without change of user certificates.

Major hotels in the Amboseli ecosystems are also being targeted for failing to remit bed night fees collected from tourists, which is Sh120 per person.

“Any of them, if founded to have violated the laws, will be made to pay or be struck off from doing business in Kajiado,” said the investigator.

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