Laikipia County government has waived land rates penalties and interests to property owners in the area as part of the celebrations to mark 100 years since Nanyuki town was gazetted as a township.
County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning Murungi Ndai said that the waiver that would be effective for two months was intended to raise Sh 500 million from land rates defaulters who owe the County Sh 6.3 billion in accrued rates.
“All the County Executives have given me the go ahead to present the proposal to the County assembly committee on finance for approval and anchor it in law,” Ndai said on Tuesday.
The CEC urged local property owners to take advantage of the waiver period and pay their rates since the County government would not extend it any further after the two month period elapses.
He added that the county government would repossess land or take legal action to those who fail to clear land rates during the waiver period.
Ndai further added that the County Executes had approved the roll out of post Covid-19 economic stimulus package to local businesses by adopting the Laikipia County Covid-19 Social Economic Re engineering Recovery Paper that will see entrepreneurs whose businesses were negatively affected by the pandemic to bounce back to profitability.
“We are focusing on six pillars in this recovery programme among them offering economic advice to entrepreneurs on recovery strategy by County Business Development Officers, giving subsidised loans to traders following a partnership agreement between the County and Kenya Commercial Bank on a Sh 3 billion loan package and encouraging traders to embrace use of Information Communication and Technology to trade their goods and services online,” he said.
Public Administration Executive Rose Maitai said that the celebrations to mark 100 years of Nanyuki Town would run from November 24 to December 12 with a number of activities lined up in the town including cleaning up local rivers, tree planting, streets cleaning and free medical camps for residents.
On November 24, 1920, the Governor of the Colony of Kenya then declared Nanyuki a Township drawing the powers from the East Africa Township Ordinance of 1903.
“In the exercise of the powers conferred upon me, I the Governor of the colony of Kenya and East Africa Protectorate, hereby declare the area described in the schedule hereto to be a Township for the purposes of the East Africa Townships Ordinance, 1903 and to be named Nanyuki,” read the declaration in part.
The designation of Nanyuki Town came as part of the Soldier Settlement Scheme that began in 1919, in an effort to increase European settlement in Kenya. The rail line reached Nanyuki in 1930 leading to the change in the district headquarters from Rumuruti to Nanyuki in 1931.
Presently a base for the Kenya Air Force and a training area for the British Army, Nanyuki continues to be an administrative and supply centre for farms, ranches, game parks and conservancies in the region.
Nanyuki lies along the Equator, in the centre of the nation, and at an elevation of 1,947m above sea-level, is the 14th highest town in Africa.
By Martin Munyi