Shocking Revelations: How Government Employees Are Getting Away With Not Paying Rent

By The Weekly Vision Reporter

The introduction of the Affordable Housing Levy by President William Ruto in his quest to push through his bottom-up economic agenda has led to a spectrum of reactions. A recent probe by The Weekly Vision shows that the government’s 50,749 housing units spread throughout the country are not generating the projected monthly rental income of Ksh. 112,303,369 or an annual rent potential of Kshs. 1,347,640,428 at full occupancy level due to pilferage.

The probe indicates that the majority of civil servants in government houses have often defaulted on rent remittances. There are many cases where unscrupulous employees at the State Department for Housing and Urban Development made deductions but not properly remitted. The government’s house rent collections for the fiscal year 2022-2023 reached Kshs. 1, 037,863,565. The amount fell short of its full potential by Ksh. 309, 776,863, indicating an underperformance of 23%.

It is concerning that the State Department has not demonstrated any discernible strategy or effort to improve revenue collection. Investigations further reveal that miscellaneous receipts were amounting to Ksh. 1,037,863,565 regarding rent collections from various government houses; however, the payroll by-products on rent deductions from ministries, state departments, and other state agencies showed deductions amounting to Kshs. 1,052,934,555, resulting in a deducted but not remitted amount of Kshs. 15,070,990.

The Government Housing Inventory shows that 7,265 houses domiciled in the 47 counties were occupied by county governments’ staff. Monthly rent income receivable from the county governments was Ksh. 18,857,790 at full occupancy, resulting in an annual rent receivable of Ksh. 22, 26,293,480 at full occupancy. However, the actual rent income received from the county governments was Kshs. 28,270,375, or 12% of the potential annual rent, resulting in uncollected rent revenue of Ksh. 198,023,105, or 88% of the annual rent collectable or receivable as of June 2023.

In addition, the County Government payroll by-products showed a rent deduction amount of Ksh. 126,113,986, out of which only Ksh. 28,270,375 was remitted, resulting in unremitted house rent from the County Government of Ksh: 97,843,611, or 78%.