The Department of Housing and Urban Planning has been given 60 days to compile an audit report of all houses owned by Machakos County government.
In a report tabled before the County Assembly by the Transport, Roads, Housing and Urban Planning Select Committee, and headed by Jubilee nominated MCA, Irene Mbivia, the committee also wants the establishment of a feasible work plan to enhance the existing structure for the purpose of raising county revenue.
The report faulted the department for lack of an updated audit of all county houses and those who reside in them including the amount of money collected as rents which they claim has led to a loss of Sh40 million in revenue ever year.
In the sittings which were presided over by the Deputy Speaker and Mumbuni North MCA, Paul Musembi, the legislators also raised queries after it emerged that some tenants may have been subletting their houses to cronies and that some public lands could have been grabbed by unscrupulous people.
MCA for Matuu Judas Mbili Ndawa challenged the county government to put its house in order by having a consolidated register of all public assets, including parcels of land to avoid the embarrassment of waging legal battles after losing the same to corrupt individuals.
“Mr. Speaker, my appeal is for this house to rise to the occasion and ensure that things are done in the way they are supposed to be done. It is very embarrassing to hold property and you don’t know the status of the same. If the county has residential houses and there are tenants who are occupying these houses and the concerned department does not know who are occupying them since it does not have a register, then this is a total joke,” he opined.
His Kangundo Central counterpart, Moses Mitaa supported the motion and blamed the executive for the laxity in safeguarding the interests of the county on behalf of the public leading to loss of much needed revenue.
Mitaa recommended that all officials of the concerned department be summoned before the House to give a breakdown of all physical assets owned by the County government, including those which were inherited from the defunct County Council of Masaku.
The legislator observed that it was only by having a stock taking exercise on all county assets that the government could know what belongs to the public and what may have been grabbed.
“We need to have a clear stock of all county assets available and my feeling is that the committee of this house can summon this department (The Department of Housing and Urban Planning) and put them in order to provide a list of all assets whether houses or lands that belong to the county government. It’s right to know what belongs to this county and what does not. Let us protect what is ours and know what belongs to our people in order to invest wisely,” he said.
By Samuel Maina