Governors risk being locked out of Nairobi offices due to rent arrears

Twenty-six governors risk being locked out of their offices in Delta House, Westlands, over rent arrears.

Knight Frank, which manages the property, gave the Council of Governors (CoG) until Thursday last week to clear Sh44,763,088 in arrears.

“In the event that the outstanding debt is not paid in full by the aforementioned date, we have instructions from the landlord to withhold services in addition to taking other legal measures provided in the lease to recover the same,” read the letter dated June 4.

In another letter dated June 7, CoG Chief Executive Officer Jacqueline Mogeni wrote to the governors requesting them to urgently pay the rent arrears, some of which date back to July 2017.

“The purpose of this letter is to bring to your attention the aforementioned demand from Knight Frank (landlord) and request that you urgently clear your outstanding arrears to avoid embarrassment to the council,” read the letter in part.

The counties with offices at Delta House are Baringo, Bomet, Bungoma, Isiolo, Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Kitui, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, Meru, Migori, Mombasa, Nakuru, Narok, Nyamira, Nyeri, Samburu, Siaya, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Tharaka Nithi, Turkana, Vihiga, Wajir and Kirinyaga.

Counties with governors who came into office in 2017 have bigger debts compared to those with second-term governors.

The county with the largest debt is Kitui, which owes Sh4,743,787 from July 2017 to June this year.

Taita Taveta owes Sh3,568,893, Nyamira has a debt of Sh3,567,683 while Tharaka Nithi owes Sh184,879.

Among the 27 counties that have offices at Delta House, only Kirinyaga has no rent arrears.

If the arrears are not settled by the end of the current financial year, which lapses on June 30, they will become pending bills in the next financial year.