REPRIEVE

Homa Bay suspends levies for open-air market traders

Move is meant to lessen the economic burden caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

In Summary

• K’Oriko directed tax collectors to concentrate in giving the residents sanitation facilities.

• The county secretary told the traders dealing in food items to maintain personal hygiene.

Homa Bay Finance executive Nicholas K'Oriko at the county headquarters in Homa Bay on March 24, 2020
RELIEF: Homa Bay Finance executive Nicholas K'Oriko at the county headquarters in Homa Bay on March 24, 2020
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

@robertomollo3

The Homa Bay administration has suspended the collection of levies from traders selling food items in open-air markets for one month.

The move is meant to lessen the economic burden caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

 “Governor Cyprian Awiti has directed that all revenue collections in all our open-air markets be suspended for 30 days,” Finance executive Nicholas K’Oriko said.

He was accompanied by county secretary Isaiah Ogwe and Finance chief officer Noah Otieno when he made the announcement in Homa Bay. 

K’Oriko directed tax collectors to concentrate on giving the residents sanitation facilities.

“We don’t want to hear residents complain of a shortage of water, soaps and any other hygiene material for fighting Covid-19,” he said.

Other traders in supermarkets, shops, boda boda riders, PSVs will still pay the levies. 

“I wish to clarify that those who operate in other sectors will continue paying taxes because this exemption applies only to traders operating in open-air markets,” K’Oriko said.

Homa Bay county secretary Isaiah Ogwe at the county headquarters in Homa Bay town on March 24, 2020
REPRIEVE: Homa Bay county secretary Isaiah Ogwe at the county headquarters in Homa Bay town on March 24, 2020
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

Ogwe said they have suspended the sale of non- food items in the open-air markets for 30 days to avoid crowding.

The exception on the sale of groceries in the markets is to avoid food shortage, he said.  

“Traders with food items must keep good hygiene,” Ogwe said.

Homa Bay has more than 300 open-air markets across the county.

The county secretary said that the new rules will be part of the others which were introduced last week to curb the spread of the Covid-19.

The other rules include limiting funerals to close relatives, closure of bars, outlawing meetings of more than 15 people among others.

“The government has also closed all departmental offices except Water, Health and Disaster Management to avoid overcrowding which may spread the virus,” Ogwe said. 

The officials said they had agreed with the county commissioner David Kipkemei to ensure the rules are enforced.

“We have taken all these measures to curb spread of the virus,” Ogwe said.

 

(edited by o. owino)