Nairobi City is broke, says Mayor

March 18, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – The Nairobi City Council is currently running on a deficit of Sh31 billion, mainly attributed to mismanagement of funds.

Nairobi Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa told a press conference on Wednesday that City Hall operations risked grinding to a halt unless corruption was addressed immediately.

“This council is sinking. In 2004, it had a debt of between Sh4 and Sh5 billion. Now we have a debt of Sh31 billion,” Mr Majiwa stated. “We must not assume this debt because (it could) sink the Council,” he cautioned further.

At the same time the Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations Chief Executive officer Stephen Mutoro threatened to call for mass action if the situation was not addressed.

“I am requesting Local Government Minister Musalia Mudavadi to come out clearly and state what he is doing to ensure that the city council offers good service delivery to Kenyans,” he said.

Mr Mutoro  expressed deep concern that some NCC officers especially in the City Planning Department had allowed buildings to come up on road reserves, riparian wetlands, open public spaces and on top of rivers and other water resources.

He called for the resignation of both the Town Clerk John Gakuo and City Planning Director Peter Kibinda, in the interest of the public.

KARA also said the Town Planning Committee should be directed to review cases of omissions and commissions in licensing non-deserving developments.

Mr Mutoro urged for City Hall’s commitment in publishing all requests and actual approvals of all developments from now on.

“We hope that the Council can work with KARA to name and shame individuals that have continued to destroy the environment for their selfish gain,” he said.

Mr Mutoro was speaking after presenting a petition to the mayor demanding that City Hall gets to the habit of issuing quarterly reports outlining objectives for the next three months.

He said that specific attention should be given to the environment, infrastructure, cash flow, revenue collection and expenditures.

Other areas of importance, he said, should include security, housing, public sanitation, Public Private Partnerships and urgent issues such as traffic congestion.


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