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September 22, 2018

Kisumu boda bodas to start paying daily levy

Kisumu executives Nery Achar (Finance), Samuel Orimba (Water), Achie Alai (Tourism) and Dickson Obungu (Lands) during a press briefing yesterday/MAURICE ALAL
Kisumu executives Nery Achar (Finance), Samuel Orimba (Water), Achie Alai (Tourism) and Dickson Obungu (Lands) during a press briefing yesterday/MAURICE ALAL

 The Kisumu government will beginning today collect tax from more than 35,000 boda boda operators to meet its revenue target.

The government has been struggling to meet its Sh1 billion revenue target for five years while it has a capacity to net in Sh5 billion.

Finance executive Nerry Achar said riders will pay Sh20 which will translate to Sh700,000 in daily collections.

The riders have not been paying taxes since the inception of devolution.

Achar said lack of taxation has made riders from neighbouring counties flock to Kisumu to evade levies in their localities.

“We have engaged leaders of the riders on taxation. We also encourage them to join saccos and CBOs which will enable them access loans,” he said yesterday.

The county plans to recruit 500 revenue and enforcement officers under the inspectorate to oversee tax collection.

Cartels

The team will be under centralised command. “We have very few revenue officers with majority of them due for retirement,” Achar said.

He dismissed claims the county laid off casuals who were mandated to collect revenue.

Nobody was sacked. The contracts of persons who were hired by the county for two years expired, Achar said.

The taxation follows the newly launched cashless revenue collection system. 

Strathmore University and Co-operative Bank have been contracted to collect revenue after River Bank’s contract expired.

Achar said with the new system, the county can collect between Sh5 billion to Sh 7 billion annually.

The county has attributed poor collection of revenue to corruption among officials in the revenue office and cartels running parallel systems.

Achar expressed confidence the cashless system would seal loopholes through which revenues were lost.

The finance boss also blamed poor record keeping and lack of accountability for the revenue challenges.

On the bloated wage bill of close to Sh2.4 billion, Achar said the county had initiated a staff audit in the human resource department aimed at weeding out ghost workers.

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