By The COAST Reporter
Property owners in Kilifi County owe the government over Sh30 billion in rate defaults.
Governor Gideon Mung’aro, speaking at Lugwe Primary School in Rabai Constituency during Madaraka Day celebrations, issued a thirty day ultimatum for defaulters of land and building owners to clear their arrears or face legal action.
As a way to entice them, he announced a 50 per cent waiver on accumulated interest on the rates due urging the defaulters to take advantage of his gesture to avoid forfeiture or auctioning of their property.
“After the expiry date, my government will take legal action to reclaim its dues being held by the defaulters,” he warned.
According to him the debt accumulations run back to the beginning of devolution and that had affected service delivery in the County.
He disclosed that his administration had received investors who were ready to establish an industrial park on 3,000-acre piece of land in Kayafungo which will employ over 100,000 people when completed.
He called on the national government to pay his administration Sh950 million being 30 per cent of royalties from mining activities in the county.
His government has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese mining company to carry out research on its preferred minerals at a monthly rates of Sh12,000.
In the health sector, the governor said he had paid all pending bills on medical supplies as well as procuring five new modern ambulances to deliver emergency services.
To improve healthcare services, Mr Mung’aro said his administration had registered 8,000 residents in National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) under a newly-formed Kilifi Care.
On education, he added his government would increase the annual bursary allocation from the current Sh350 million to Sh500 million.
To improve businesses, the administration has renamed his predecessor’s Mbegu Fund to Wezesha Fund by increasing its annual allocation from Sh100 million to Sh500 million in collaboration with a financial institution.
For agriculture, the government has distributed 77 tonnes of maize seeds to 36,000 farmers and 100 bags of affordable fertilisers.
This will be facilitated by 22 tractors that have been revived and hired out to farmers to clear 670 acres and raising Sh1.5 million to the County Treasury.
The governor said the county was in the process of creating two new municipalities: Mariakani-Mazeras and Mtwapa in order to improve services in the targeted towns.
Under his plans he wants to ensure all buildings in the towns are painted in order to make them more attractive and beautiful in view of reviving the ailing tourism sector.
Deputy governor Flora M’betsa Chibule said the administration had started a nutrition programme for 850 early learning centres on the county to benefit all preprimary school children through receiving nutritious porridge.
Moving from position 37 to 17 on an IPSOS survey on county performance, the Mung’aro-led county within eight months has increased its revenue collection from Sh800 million to approaching Sh1 billion.
Those present were MPs Ken Chonga (Kilifi South), Harrison Kombe (Magarini), Gertrude Mbeyu (County MP) and Josphat Biwott (County Commissioner).