By Our Reporters.
The Union of Kenya Civil Servants has opposed plans by the government to review rent of its houses upwards by up to 10 times.
The plan, according to government online sources, is designed to impose rent that reflects “current” market prices.
The union has further rejected plans by EACC move to “blacklist” union leaders involved in politics. It said this was a draconian and “uncivil” way of “gagging” leaders answering “the call of duty.”
The union Secretary General Hon. Tom Odege who is also Nyatike MP and aspirant for Migori gubenatorial race in 2022, described the plans as “too abrupt and unfair”. He said the state should stop “arm-twisting” its staff at a time when many civil servants have lost lives on the “front-line” battling covid 19 global pandemic.
The union, he said, had given a strike notice and would down tools if the government does not shelve plans to freeze salary increases and allowances for 2 years. The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) announced in May that it was abiding by the IMF demand as “condition” for releasing a loan of Kshs 257 billion to cushion the economy against ravages of covid 19.
The move kicked up a storm with many Kenyans online urging IMF and World Bank to stop lending the heavily indebted Nairobi government with external debts now soaring to Kshs 9 trillion!
Odege said the government had failed to find “credible” ways of reducing the bloated public wage bill through “expanding its tax bracket” and was “unfairly targeting civil servants” already facing harsh economic times.
He said this fresh move to “appease” western donor agencies, the IMF and World Bank was being directed at the “wrong targets”! He urged the state to cut down on public wastage and corruption in the county governments.
“The government should be asking KRA to expand its national tax collection base and move on elements defaulting on taxes like Landlords and some key private sector entrepreneurs,” he said.
Odege said some KRA officials in the Domestic Taxes wing had failed to collect tax “more efficiently” and were instead “taking fat bribes” and becoming rich at the expense of their own employer!
According to a recent inventory there are about 56,892 houses occupied by civil servants in all the 47 counties with Nairobi having the Lions share on Jogoo road, Ngara, Pangani, Ziwani, Kariokor, Starehe, Madaraka and upper hill areas.■