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New bill to boost revenue collection in counties

Cabinet Secretary, Lands, Housing and Urban Development Zacharia Mwangi Njeru has affirmed that plans were underway to pass a bill of national rating to help counties collect and boost their revenue to help them accomplish projects done at county level.

The bill provides the framework for levying of rates by county government and seeks to review the valuation for Rating Act, identify existing legislation that require to be aligned with the proposed National Rating Legislation and to provide recommendation on rating public lands among other functions.

Speaking during the Joint Retreat with the Departmental Committee on Lands with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, The National Land Commission and The National Treasury, Njeru said that the members present at the joint meeting brainstormed the idea to come up with a bill that will benefit citizens at county level.

“We are very committed to work with the committee to address the challenges that are fronting the sector,” Njeru said.

It was acknowledged that there are many land conflicts in the country, hence Njeru assured that with the great support from Government, the ministry is working to ensure that title deeds are issued legally and rightfully to citizens to curb the challenge.

The CS said that the ministry has already started the digitization of land records and title deeds in Nairobi County and will soon spread across the rest of the counties in the country.

He noted that the digitization of the title deeds and other land documents is a sure way of increasing the rights of women and improving food security.

The Chairman, National Land Commission Gershom Otachi applauded the proposed bill because according to him, existing legislations have undergone minimal amendments but the same are not consistent with the current constitution.

“The laws must be updated, there is a need to have a legal framework to enhance the County Revenue Collection,” Otachi said.

The committee, in collaboration with the ministry and National Land Commission (NLC), later on issued over 1000 title deeds to Mtwapa and Maweni residents and urged them to safeguard the documents.

The PS, Lands, Housing and Urban Development Nixon Korir said that the bill looks to acquit any possible land conflicts moving forward.

Korir also called on citizens to be on the lookout for fraudsters claiming ownership of public land and urged them not to settle for being squatters by selling their land.

By Fatuma Said

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