COUNTY COLLECTION

Governor Awiti warns new revenue officers against misuse of funds

Awiti says any officer who will be found misusing county cash will be prosecuted.

In Summary

• Governor Cyprian Awiti says revenue collection has dwindled over time from a high of more than Sh200 million in 2013-14 to low of Sh120 million in the 2018-19 financial year.

• Tells tax collectors to bank their daily collections and forward the relevant documentation to the revenue officer. 

Homa Bay governor Cyprian Awiti greets North Karachuonyo MCA Paul Wamunga as his collegues look on after the governor met revenue officers in Homa Bay town on January 11,2020
Homa Bay governor Cyprian Awiti greets North Karachuonyo MCA Paul Wamunga as his collegues look on after the governor met revenue officers in Homa Bay town on January 11,2020
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

Homa Bay government wants newly recruited revenue officers to honestly do their work to ensure they meet collection target for growth.

The more than 200 commission agents were warned against engaging in practices that may lead to loss of public funds at the expense of individual benefit.

Governor Cyprian Awiti said revenue collection has dwindled over time from a high of more than Sh200 million in 2013-14 to low of Sh120 million in the 2018-19 financial year.

 

Awiti said he will not allow his administration to continue missing out on the equitable share of own source of revenue collected from the  Treasury.

“We must reverse the trend and meet our current (2019-20) budgeted revenue collection target. Incidences of embezzlement of revenue will be dealt with according to the law,” Awiti said.

Speaking on Saturday after meeting the officers who were deployed to eight constituencies in Homa Bay town, Awiti said his administration will be strict on revenue collection.

In the company of Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata, county secretary Isaiah Ogwe, Finance executive Nicholas K’Oriko and Finance chief officer Noah Otieno, Awiti said any officer who will be found misusing county cash will be prosecuted.

He told the officials to bank their daily collections and forward the relevant documentation to the revenue officer.

“Handling of cash at any revenue point is highly discouraged. Work with due diligence because you’ll be surcharged over mistakes on the payroll,” he added.

Last year, Awiti fired more than 400 commission agents over collection misappropriation claims.

 

The governor said they would replace the commission agents with permanent staff in the payroll to enhance accountability.

“Revenue staff shall be reshuffled to work in any part of the county. You’ll be held personally liable for any revenue loss or observed deviation of targets and revenue trends,” the governor said.

Orata warned sub-=county and ward administrators against meddling in revenue collection in their jurisdictions.

“One of the strategies to streamline the revenue collection methods in the county is to avoid misuse of the revenues,” Orata said.

Ogwe and K’Oriko said Homa Bay has enacted the county enforcement act to strengthen revue collection and inspection.

“There has been observed improvement of daily revenue collection in Homa Bay town because of replacement of commission agents,” Ogwe said.

K’Oriko urged locals to adopt mobile money payment system of collecting tax to improve in the county revenue generation.

He said they want to seal all loopholes that have led to revenue loss.

“The county government wants to maximize its revenue collection and accountability,” K’Oriko said.