Financing the housing project through workers salary is ill conceived, ill advised, insensitive and punitive

On Monday December 17, 2018, the Principal Secretary, State Department of Housing, appeared on the KBC TV during the 9.00 pm bulletin to explain the funding source for the housing scheme of the Big Four Agenda.

The following were revelations/conclusions from his presentation:

The Government will raise over Ksh 60 billion by deducting 1.5% of gross salary from 2.5 million workers from public and private formal employment.

Trade Unions

The trade unions were seized of the scheme from its inception and even privy to the increase from the initial 0.5% to 1.5% deduction.

The COTU and KNUT leadership are, therefore, feigning opposition to the scheme to hoodwink their members.

In fact the controversial Finance Bill that contained the 8% VAT on petroleum products has the 1.5% clause on the housing scheme.

Government policy

It is now the law under implementation. It is now Government policy for certain workers to take the role of brothers’ keepers.

This is an admission that not all contributors will be allocated the houses. The Government collects taxes but is now relinquishing its social obligation on shelter to certain workers.

This is being very INSENSITIVE to the plight of the goose (workers) that lays the eggs. There is no established legal entity to undertake such a massive project.


This kind of scheme requires the following before sourcing and allocating money. One, Legal entity – an institution with requisite personnel.

Two, Space – specific locations, with grounds on which houses will be built, Three, Time clear timelines for the start, completion and allocation of the houses.

The mega project will receive Ksh 60 billion without the above requisite infrastructure. It is like putting the cart before the horse.

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A mega rip off

It may develop into a mega rip-off that can dwarf the sum total of NYS, KPLC, KPC, NCPB, MES and health project scandals.

Why MISCONCEIVED? The systems of thieving operatives may be behind the well-intended scheme.

Why ILL-ADVISED? Taking salaries of underpaid and overtaxed workers as an easy option will break the hearts of the workforce.

Indebted to various schemes

Many workers are indebted to various schemes to the extent that they are hardly left with any disposable income at month-end.

The legal one-third of basic salary on payslips is a gimmick. The Shylock debts are not reflected on payslips.

Further deductions may result in unintended depressions and possible suicides among the, silently, protesting workers.

Short of technocrats

It is PUNITIVE. The Government is not short of technocrats with innovative ideas for financing noble projects.

Why INSENSITIVE? There is the unresolved history of suspicions of entrusting tax payers’ money with thieving public servants.

The managers of mega projects are, usually, appointees whose main virtue is being known in high political places.

Recycled from project to project

The same people are recycled from project to project. The requirement that one is presumed innocent until the court process is completed, does not stop the appointing authorities to relieve suspects of their public duties.

It proves that the appointments are informed by things other than merit. It is discriminatory for the Government to put a section of workers in the seat of being their brother’s keepers.

The policy would be to require all employers to have in-built housing schemes in staffing arrangements.

A welfare organization

This would enable workers to own houses in places of their choice, without coersion.

If we have become a welfare state, the Government should use taxes to build houses all-over the country and dispose them to citizens, including workers at subsidized prices.

We are reaping the fruits of electing MPs on grounds other than merit. That is my opinion.