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Looters of new housing fund to pay Sh10,000

By Geoffrey Mosoku | Apr 18th 2019 | 2 min read
By Geoffrey Mosoku | April 18th 2019

Regulations governing the controversial housing fund levy provides for lean punishment for State officers found to have looted from the kitty.

According to regulations published by Transport, Infrastructure and Housing Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, looters from the fund will only pay Sh10,000 or serve two years in jail.

“A person who misappropriates any funds or assets of the Housing Fund, or assists or causes any person to misappropriate the funds, shall upon conviction be liable for imprisonment for a term of two years or a fine not exceeding Sh10,000 or both,” reads Section 25 of the regulations.

Yesterday, Kenyans went to social media to question the law.

“A person who loots Sh5 billion or even more of this housing fund levy will be fined Sh10,000 or imprisoned for two years”. This is a travesty of the century. The thieves have already set their lenient punishment ahead of looting. Unbelievable,” Lord Abraham Mutai tweeted.

However, Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga sought to defend the regulations.

“The matter statute has been existence since 1953. Housing fund was established in 1967 but not operationalised. The statute imposed Sh10,000 and or two years in jail. We are amending the section to reflect more punitive measure for any misappropriation,” said the PS.

Yesterday, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudvadi added his voice to the rejection of the levy, terming it punitive to Kenyans.

“With the high cost of basic commodities soaring and a biting drought, it is foolhardy to load the employee and employer with additional taxation,” Mr Mudavadi said.

He told President Uhuru Kenyatta to shelve the implementation of the deductions and instead utilise monies recovered from graft to build houses.

“An ill-conceived approach to a noble cause at this point in time. The Government should dedicate recovered proceeds from corruption in providing housing for the poor,” the ANC chief wrote on his tweeter account.

Law Society of Kenya said the lawyer’s body had already clanged the whole law and hoped to get orders to declare it null and void.

PS Hinga insisted that the move was not a tax measure, but a contributory scheme.

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