Senate summons Kidero over Sh72b debt

The row pitting Nairobi County government and the National Government over a Sh72 billion debt has now moved to the Senate.

This comes after the senate committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget summoned Governor Evans Kidero to appear before it on Thursday to shed more light on the issue after receiving a petition from the county seeking help from the House in recovering the amount said to have been accumulated over time.

“The Committee is in receipt of your petition concerning debts owed to the Nairobi City County by the National Government and its Agencies.

“The purpose of this letter is to invite you to come and present the issues concerning the settlement of debt owed to the National City County by the National Government together with the evidence and any other relevant issues to the Committee…,” read the letter signed by Jeremiah M. Nyegenye, the Clerk of the Senate and dated May 30.

The Committee, established pursuant to standing order 208 of the Senate Standing Orders and is mandated to investigate, inquire into and report on all matters relating to coordination, control and monitoring of the County Budgets, has also directed that the said evidence be forwarded to it by Monday.

Governor Kidero, who will appear before the committee at 10am in County Hall, has always maintained that the debt arises from land rates and parking fees that have accumulated over years, attracting huge interests and penalties.

Dr Kidero, while addressing the media on several occasions, has accused the national government of using the debt to sabotage operations at the county, adding that the county has been unable to meet some of its obligations because of the arrears.

According to the petition to the Senate seen by the Nation, the national government’s debts to the Nairobi City County including those of state corporations currently amount to Sh8,915,120,192.

This debt was accrued from rates from contribution in Lieu of Rates (CILOR), Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefit Scheme, Kenya Culture Centre, Kenya Railways Corporation, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, National Assembly, Kenya Power-Way Leaves Parking fees/Government Reserved parking.

Another debt of Sh61, 500, 000, 000 is owed on account of the Department of Defence’s land at Embakasi garrison and another Sh2 billion from staff arrears inherited from the defunct city council.

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