Assembly vows to ensure no extra levies even as Nakuru becomes City

Nakuru Speaker Joel Maina Kairu at a past media address in Nakuru.PHOTO/Pristone Mambili.

The County assembly of Nakuru has assured residents that no high rates will be charged contrary to the legal requirements even as Nakuru moves to become a city.

Addressing media outside the County assembly buildings, the Nakuru County assembly speaker Joel Maina Kairu said the Finance Act is very clear on how levies are imposed.

He noted that the fact that Nakuru is becoming a city does not automatically mean the high levies will be charged contrary to the law.

According to Speaker Kairu, the Finance Bill is what will guide the move and that if any decision to lower or raise the levies will be as per what the law says.

He added that in accordance with the law, there must be public participation for any new levies to be imposed to the citizens.

“Finance Bill is what gives guidelines and as county assembly we shall ensure that is adhered to even as Nakuru becomes a city” said Kairu.

Nakuru town is one of the five major towns that are set to be elevated to cities ranking after Cabinet approved an amendment Bill, which seeks to harmonize and cater for the classification of urban centres in the country.

Other towns to be elevated include Eldoret, Narok and either Bungoma or Kakamega to City categories.

Elevation of urban towns to the city status requires a town to have a resident population of at least 500,000, besides meeting other criteria.

In the current law, only Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu qualify as cities, two other urban centres as municipalities, while 130 qualify as townships.

Under the amendments, there will be 64 municipalities, 66 townships and 80 market centres in addition to the five new cities.

Cities and municipalities will be managed by Boards that will have a agency relationship with the respective county governments, while towns will be managed by committees.

Just last week the Senate Standing committee on devolution and intergovernmental relations was in Nakuru to see some of the progress in terms of preparedness.

Speaking after touring various development projects and meeting with members of the county assembly and other stakeholders, committee chairperson John Kinyua said most of the legal requirements have been fulfilled.

Kinyua who is also the Laikipia senator, assured residents that the Senate will not stand in the way of the town’s promotion.

“Nakuru by far surpasses most of the requirements that a town needs before it can be granted a city charter. I will lead the members in seeing that the application goes through fast,” he said.