Traders unhappy with City Hall licensing

January 18, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – A report by the Nairobi Central Business District Association has revealed that about 60 percent of traders are unhappy with the City Council of Nairobi\’s (CCN) licensing procedures despite posting increased revenues by 6.5 percent.

The study also put into question issuance of occupation certificates for buildings whose rates have not been paid and the receipt of unconfirmed accounts of solicitation and extortion of people seeking to be paid old debts.

Chairman Timothy Muriuki said on Tuesday that the non-consultative stance taken by the council in public matters was not working well for image building attributed City Hall\’s poor performance to low staff morale as a result of public humiliation on their shortcomings.

"If you do not have a good relationship with your top management, you will not expect to achieve much especially in a public institution like City Hall," he stated.

"The despotic behaviour has been observed and although the Clerk entered the seat on a reform agenda, I do not think that agenda is going to be achieved if he does not totally address his relationship with his top management. Those are the people who help him to deliver," he said.

Speaking during the launch, the NCBDA chairman emphasised the need for staff to be treated with dignity if they are to deliver their best.

"It may look public sensitive but I do not think that you are making the public happier when you are dressing down your officers in public. It does not work that way and it will never work," he explained.

"So does it mean that when you want to do something, you call down the press and then humiliate your officers in public?" he posed.

Mr Muriuki said that there were prolonged delays of payment of roads contractors and that accumulation of debts and delays of becomes counterproductive.

He pointed out that the council was risking the payment of contractor related damages for delayed projects and payments.

"The council has budgeted Sh8 billion for debt resolution in the 2010/2011 period. Payment of old debts must be properly interrogated and audited by independent external auditors," he said.

He emphasised the fact that the council had worked hard towards the removal of illegal structures and reclaiming of roads and developments on by-passes and link roads.

He said City Hall needs to put more efforts to control development within the city and properly plan for it.

He stated that businessmen expected the CCN to be concerned about the security of their businesses and property since muggings and vehicle break-ins within the city council parking zones have been rife despite collection of parking fees.

He also stressed the need for the council to upgrade its fire fighting service.

"NCC continues to operate a fire brigade that is grossly under equipped. With just four operating engines for Nairobi, and just two stations, we must see an initiative focusing on this," he said.

"One suggestion would be to outsource the services to the various entities that have developed and maintained fire engines capacities for a period of time until the council is able to finance its own engine purchases. The repair of fire hydrants must also be undertaken."

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