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Investor evicted in Kilifi over unpaid Sh5.5 million levy

By Nehemiah Okwembah | August 30th 2019

Construction of a multi-billion-shilling real estate project in Rabai sub-county has been stopped over a Sh5.5 million tax bill.

The county government further accused the investor, who is putting up both residential and commercial buildings, of failing to compensate residents who moved from the 900-acre piece of land to allow for the development.

Kenneth Karisa, a county tax official in Rabai, said security officers have now occupied the project site.

“It is more than a year after work on this project started, yet the investor has never paid taxes due to the county government. He is also blocking rivers with the debris from the construction site," said Mr Karisa.

He added that several Kilifi residents who depend on the river have complained of the blockage.

"We usually charge a levy per truck that arrives loaded at the construction site. Several trucks make trips to the site without paying a penny. Our figures show the unpaid levy now amounts to Sh5.5 million," Karisa said.

Some of the residents who were promised compensation after they made way for the project said they are met with violence every time they gather to demand their dues.

Keya Tsuma, 69, who is one of those who left his farm to pave way for the constriction, said so far he has only received Sh8,000 from the investor.

“I lost everything and even contemplated suicide. When I join others in demanding for our dues, police are unleashed on us. We are beaten and chased away."

Mr Tsuma said he used to grow coconut and mangoes on his farm before the investor came.

Those who gave up their land now want the Government to intervene. They want to be compensated fully or given back their land. Requests for comment from the investor went unanswered.

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