State should probe cases of harassment of tenants by landlords and take action against the culprits

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By DAVID KATANA

The Government should investigate cases of landlords who are harassing their tenants by disconnecting water and electricity supply and take disciplinary action against them officials of National Ordinary People’s Empowerment Union (NOPEU) political party have said.

The officials Messrs Gervasio Mithika – national chairman, Rogers Mwiti – Secretary General and Kevin Malinga – national Treasurer said reports of harassment of tenants by landlords have become widespread.

“We have received reports of landlords harassing their tenants over delayed payment of rent by disconnecting water and electricity and we want action taken against the culprits,” Mr Malinga said.

In one incident in Kiambu County, a landlord removed doors from his rented rooms following a rent dispute with his tenants.

Mr Malinga said landlords should handle their tenants in a humane manner during these difficult times of COVID-19 pandemic and workout modalities with those with rent arrears on how to pay the outstanding money.

NOPEU national treasurer Kevin Malinga. PHOTO/COURTESY

“We are also asking landlords who may be repaying loans, to take advantage of the moratorium issued by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and negotiate with their banks to be granted a grace period,” Mr Malinga added.

Mr Mwiti said the government should also put in place mechanism to ensure face masks being made locally and sold on the streets met the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.

“It is emerging that anybody with a sewing machine has become an expert in making face masks. This is a very disturbing development because if not checked it could escalate the spread of the coronavirus instead of helping to control it,” the No Peu national chairman said.

Alternatively, Mr Mwiti said the government should use part of, Sh 5.2 billion or US $50 million donated by the World Bank Group to help fight the coronavirus pandemic to buy certified and recommended face masks and distribute them to Kenyans free of charge.

On April2, The World Bank Group Board of Directors announced that they had approved $ 50 million in immediate funding to support Kenya’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic under a new operation – the Kenya COVID-19 Emergency Response Project.

The Kenya COVID-19 Emergency Response Project was also to assist Kenya in its efforts to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness.

Mr Mithika said the government should ensure a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta that Kenyans who will fail to pay their dues to banks by April 1 will not be listed in the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) was enforced.

The President said, he has issued a “temporary suspension of the listing with Credit Reference Bureaus of any person, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) and corporate entities whose loan account falls overdue or is in arrears, effective 1st April 2020.”

The directive did not cover at least 3 million Kenyans listed in CRB.

The President said, he has issued a “temporary suspension of the listing with Credit Reference Bureaus of any person, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) and corporate entities whose loan account falls overdue or is in arrears, effective 1st April 2020.”

 

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