Peter Imwatok, the Nairobi County Assembly Minority Chief Whip now wants the City Leadership to waive rent for residents for the next three months over the unprecedented economic effects posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a letter addressed to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director General Maj. General Mohamed Abdalla Badi, Imwatok called on the leadership to waive rent for all low-income earners residing in county government’s houses in Makongeni, Kaloleni, Jericho, Bahati, Mbotela, Shauri Moyo, Maringo, Ngara estates among others who pay a rent of up to Ksh,5000.
According to Imwatok, some of the measures the government has taken to prevent the spread of the contagious virus have negatively affected the residents hence reducing their income.
“This group of residents is currently unable to provide for their daily meals and at the same time pay monthly rent In this regard, ” the letter reads in part.
“…It is my humble request to you that you waive payment of rent by all County Government tenants whose monthly rent amounts to Kshs 5,000 and below majority of whom are low-income earners for next three (3) months in order to cushion them from the adverse effects of the COVID-19.”
This comes amid calls from the tenants and landlords lobby for the government to consider measures to cushion Kenyans from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Association called for a three-month rent waiver for tenants.
“There should be a waiver for rent for the month of April, May and June, so that the common citizen can actually work on putting food on the table, ” a statement by the Landlords and Tenants Association of Kenya reads in part.
A section of Kenyans argues that the recent tax cuts announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta are not enough and citizens expect more from the government as many have been rendered jobless after businesses were shut down.
President Kenyatta created the NMS office last month to be in charge of the Nairobi County functions that embattled Governor Mike Sonko transferred to the national government.
Housing was one of the functions that were transferred to the National Government.
The Head of State named Enosh Momanyi as NMS Deputy Director General.
The President tasked the leadership with among other duties to bring an end to corruption and dismantle the cartels that have hindered the city’s development.
The transfer of Nairobi county functions followed a series of challenges the city has been facing since Sonko was charged with graft and barred from office.