By Protus Onyango
Nairobi City Council’s threat to auction properties of rate defaulters touched off such a panic that it netted over Sh1.5 billion in less than two weeks.
It is understood that some 200 landlords jetted into the country to rescue their property from being auctioned by the council, which is targeting landlords who do not pay land rates.
Besides, the council has extracted a promise from the State to pay about Sh30 billion of the estimated Sh50 billion owed by various arms of Government.
Over the last two weeks, long queues have been witnessed at City Hall as nervous property owners sought to salvage their properties.
The property owners flew to Nairobi from various capitals in America, Europe and Middle East so as to beat the council’s deadline which was supposed to end on August 9.
Property owner Abdul Shukri told The Standard that he had travelled all the way from United Kingdom to heed the council’s deadline.
Last minute rush
He was unhappy with the way the council had failed to communicate with property owners about the need to pay rates.
“In this technological era, we shouldn’t be ambushed with short notices. The council should have ways of communicating to people early enough so that we are spared the rush,” Mr Shukri said.
He added: “The council should use innovative ways of allowing its customers to make payments while abroad rather than spend time and money to travel back to Nairobi.”
Ms Milka Namu, a landlord with property in Kasarani, was also bitter.
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