A day after Kajiado East MP, Peris Tobiko, opposed planned taxation on freehold land property Finance CECM Alais Kisota says it is provided by law.
Tobiko on Sunday had told governor Joseph Lenku she will rally the people of Kajiado in refusing to pay rates imposed on their freehold land property.
Kisota expounded further that the county is not only targeting rates on leasehold land property but also freehold land title owners across the country except on public utility land, worship property, streets and community land under group ranches.
“Once you have bought land that has been valued and issued with a title, the law provides that you must be charged rates. That is how the government it will draw its revenue and there is no beating about the bush, said Kisota.
But Kisota’s reply on Monday attracted more reactions from MCAs, who termed him a ‘spent’ force used by Lenku to frustrate property owners as he cites laws that have never been approved by the county assembly.
“We are ready to pay rates to the county government on land properties that have changed their user from farmland to commercial plots. What Lenku is looking for is trouble because as MCAs, we have never approved charges on freehold landowners,” said Nominated MCA Onesmus Ngogoyo.
Ngogoyo, who said he was speaking on behalf of all Kajiado North MCAs; Mwathi Pere (Ongata), Martin Kimemia (Oloolua), James Ndirangu (Nkaimurunya), Robert Muoria (Ngong) and Peter Njuguna (Olkeri), said Lenku was elected by Kajiado urbanites, and therefore they have a stake in the county government.
“As stakeholders in this county, we are qualified to say Kisota is a small errand and inefficient boy who has never gone out of his Loitokitok village in the neighbourhood of Lenku. Let him know that we will go to any length in opposing any attempts by Lenku to charge illegal rates on freehold land property,” said Ngogoyo.
He claimed there is no law that allows the county government to impose rates and rents on people with freehold titles because the assembly has not approved the same.
“What the finance Bill Kisota is quoting says after the ongoing validation of all plots are done the county government through the assembly will determine how much freehold land title owners with a change of use will pay,” clarified Ngogoyo.
Imaroro MCA, Amos Peshut, said what Lenku is proposing to do is an illegality which has not been sanctioned by the county assembly.
Peshut claimed on Monday that the only chargeable property, and which is supported by county and national government law, is plots with allotment letters and leasehold land.
“Leasehold land property falls under the county government, and therefore qualifies to be charged rates,” said Peshut.
Kitengela MCA, Paul Matuyia, opposed Lenku’s plan saying already the people of Kitengela town have already petitioned against paying the rates on freehold property.
“This is an illegal arrangement being fronted by Lenku administration, and we are warning them against rushing people to pay illegal fees that have not been approved by the county assembly,” said Matuyia.
Matuyia said the county assembly through its House Finance Committee is yet to look at the petition forwarded by the people of Kajiado before making a decision on the same.
“It is absurd that the county government has issued invoices to property owners on freehold land which have been backdated to 2014. How can that happened and yet they are claiming they are acting on laws formulated in 2016?” asked Matuyia.
He said the county government’s land office is currently carrying out validation of plots in urban centres in a bid to rule out double allocations, and thereafter issue allotment letters on those properties before imposing rates on them.