County ministers locked out of premise over rent tussle.
29 February 2016, 17:21
Bungoma - Six county executive members on Sunday spent the better part of the day outside their offices after the premise they work in was locked by the owner for nonpayment of rent.
The county government had rented the premise which was partitioned to house the County Executive Committee Members, Chief Officers and some of their junior staff.
The owner of the premise Gasper Waffubwa confirmed that the county government had defaulted rent payment for six months.
He disclosed that the tenancy agreement had expired in October last year and they had not renewed it since then.
“I am being owed by the banks yet am unable to service the loan because the county government has failed in its part to pay my rent, unless they pay I will not let them in, this is business and it should generate profit not losses,” said Waffubwa.
He said that the County officials had failed to pay for water bill at the premise leading to its disconnection and thus posing danger to health of the workers.
“I want my dues paid before they are allowed in or else let them remain out until everything is sorted out,” he said.
In a demand notice pasted by Kassim Sifuma and Associated advocates on the premise door which was locked by padlocks and chains, it reads that, “Owing to the reluctance and or negligence by the county government of Bungoma to renew the tenancy agreement which expired on 30th September last year, we have been ordered by our client to stop the county government from accessing our clients premises as from Monday,”
Among the ministries affected were Education, Tourism, Health, Gender and culture, youth and agriculture.
Contacted, the County Public administration executive Mokin Ptang’uny said that they owed the tenant Sh3 million which he said that they were finalizing his payment.
“The tenant visited me in my office and we talked over the issue, we agreed that we will settle the matter once money is released to us by the national government and everything is complete, let him check his account and allow in the county officials,” said Ptang’uny.
He noted that it was very much embarrassing for the senior county employees to be locked out of the premise for nonpayment of rent and stated that they will sort out the matter amicably.
By the time of going to press, all services had been paralysed with the ministers, their permanent secretaries and junior employees hiding in hotels and boutiques to avoid the embarrassment.
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