City Hall unable to collect Sh300 billion from defaulters

By Erick Ludeya
The County has admitted to internal working challenges that have made it difficult to reign in on defaulters who owe it a staggering Sh300 billion in debts.

This emerged on Wednesday during an enquiry by the Budget and Finance Commitee which was infomed that the county has only collected Sh627,511,966 million in the current financial year, from a target of Sh3.1billion.
The amounts accumulate from rates, Single Business Permits,Fire,adverts,medicals,loading zones and way leaves.
Officers from the Debt Collection Unit(dcu) headed by James Lempaka cited lack of operational tools like motor vehicles,emergence of imposters and former retirees impersonating the unit and lack of cooperation with some of the sub-county Administrators.

“My main challenge is adequate tools for operation like right now, we dont have a single vehicle to go to the ground,” Lempaka told the commitee.

It further emerged that their is a glairing disconnect among sectors at the county, with some deliberately unwilling to serve the DCU with requisite debtors data from respective revenue streams.

Kayole South Ward Represenative Fredrick Okeyo questioned why their is a disconnect between sectors on matters revenue collection, yet the county is strugling to meet its targets.He wndered why various sectors were not willing to give a list of defaulters to the DCU for enforcement.

” There is alot of disconnect among the sectors and we have to find a way through which they can be compelled to work together,” Okeyo noted.

The DCU is only composed of 85 members of staff who are tasked to collect the debts owed to the county by individuals, parastatals and Co-orporate Companies.

The national government has been blamed as the biggest defaulter, with its debts having hit Sh 120 billion by end of march this year.

Since the year 2013,the county government has only collected Sh12.9 billion in rates alone against a target of Sh21billion for the same period.

The county government has since 2013 struggled to meet its targets from land rates. It has collected Sh12.9 billion against a target of Sh21 billion for the period.

In the current financial year,2358 defaulters have been arrested and the county managed to collect Sh19.6 million from the same.

Out of a target of Sh264million from Single Business Permits, the DCU only collected Sh15.9 million and Sh40.1 million from adverts out of a tarfet of Sh247.5million.

Acting revenue director Bernard Njehia acknowleged the need for sectors to work together if the county has to meet its targets.

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