The Kilifi County government has raised concern over a debt of Sh. 30 billion owed to the devolved government by land owners.
Governor Gideon Mung’aro revealed this saying that the accrued unpaid land rates stretch many years and urged those who have not paid up to do so.
The County boss also announced a 50 percent waiver for land rates and accrued interest for a period of 30 days but cautioned those who will not have settled their debts of lawful punitive measures such as confiscating their properties to recover the debts.
“All the land rates debts together with interest is estimated to be Sh. 30 billion because people have not paid for many years, they are used to not paying and no action has ever been taken against them but I am giving them a grace period so that they can pay up or we come for their properties,’ he said.
Mr Mung’aro added that his government will use lawyers and auctioneers to ensure that the county recovers the debt owed adding that he will not hesitate to move to court to seek orders of auctioning some of the parcels of land.
“The county has witnessed a surge in the number of land owners and it is a good indicator of growth, unfortunately, a huge number of land owners are not remitting their dues hence defrauding the devolved government of the much needed revenue,” he said.
His move to waive the rates was occasioned by many residents claiming that the hard economic times had affected their economic lives hence they had no money to pay.
“I hereby give a waiver of 50 per cent for accumulated penalties and interests valid for 30 days from the date of this statement,” he said, adding that upon the lapse of the period, the county will prosecute or possess the said parcels of land to clear the debts.
“The County Government has lined up a number of projects geared towards improving the lives of our people. These projects include the provision of clean and safe water, improved health care, tourism development, sound road infrastructure and development of sports and Early Childhood education foundation among others and the Sh. 30 billion can address some of the projects to completion,” he said.