Kenyan Capital to get a facelift

June 17, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – Reduction of traffic congestion within Nairobi streets by 30 percent and complete elimination of corruption and hawking are key reform benchmarks for City Hall within the next 100 days.

Within this period the Nairobi City Council (NCC) expects to raise revenue collection from the current Sh79 million to over Sh98 million per month. The Council has also promised that the public will be able to access files or information at City Hall within five minutes.

Town Clerk Philip Kisia on Wednesday led top NCC officials in setting the benchmarks in the fifth wave of the Rapid Results Initiative and the first to be made public. The Town clerk assured that the bench marks were attainable within the set period and put non-performing council workers on notice.

“I have paraded them (officials) here because they have committed to me that together we shall transform the City of Nairobi and make it a world class city. It is not going to be business as usual anymore,” Mr Kisia who has been in office for barely two months said in his address.

“They have accepted that if they fail to deliver they must not wait for anybody to send them home.”

To heighten his efforts to eliminate corruption, Mr Kisia said a headcount for all council employees and an assets audit will be carried out to establish its worth.

City Hall has for years been on the spotlight for corruption cartels who have infiltrated the system siphoning billions of public money while residents continue to lack basic facilities for which they pay rates. Mr Kisia has vowed to eliminate the cartels and promised more transparency in the running of the affairs of the council. Last week he sent senior managers on compulsory leave some of whom have not taken their leave days for years.

Elimination of the long wait for business and project approvals and massive corruption in procurement are top priorities for the new man at the helm of the Capital.

“In order to open up procurement I have appointed the Chairman of Transparency International to the tender committee,” said Mr Kisia who is the former Managing Director of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

“To further show my commitment that I intend to open up the council I have directed the Director of City Planning to include the chairman of the Architectural Association of Kenya and representatives from the Institutes of Engineering, Surveyors and Planners in his team that evaluates development plans.”

Other reforms include the burial of unclaimed bodies at the City Mortuary within one month down from the usual three months and the rehabilitation of Nairobi River. The council has also planned to increase the usage of five community centres by 30 percent besides creating enough public awareness on new city by-laws. In the long term the Town Clerk said the council will come up with a master plan for the city and mapping for city businesses.


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