20 February 2013

Kenya: Naivasha Council in Financial Crisis

Naivasha Municipal Council has warned that some crucial services could be grounded because of lack of funds. A four-month tax boycott by more than 3,000 boda boda operators in Naivasha town has adversely affected the council's service delivery.

Clerk Felix Olwero admitted that the impasse means the council can only pay its workers and offer limited services. Olwero said the council has lost more than Sh1.2 million since the strike began adding that critical services such as street lighting and garbage collection could stop any time.

"The council cannot operate without money and operations like running street lighting and collection of garbage will be affected," he said.

The town clerk accused some politicians of inciting the operators not pay the monthly fee.Olwero said the council had exhausted all its avenues of trying to convince the boda boda operators to pay their dues.

"The move has set a bad precedent in this town and we are making plans to make sure that everybody complies with the set rules," he said.

Speaking on phone, Naivasha DC Mohammed Abass said that they were ready to offer enforcement to make sure that the operators paid taxes.

He said that there was nothing special about the operators adding that they either had to obey the laws or move out of the streets."All Kenyans do pay taxes and we shall make sure that this happens among the motorcycle operators in Naivasha," he said.

For the last four months, the operators have declined to pay the Sh300 monthly fee over poor roads and burst sewers. Last month business came to a standstill in Naivasha after the operators clashed with police and council askaris.

Their representatives later held a meeting with the council which explained to them that they were not responsible for roads repairs.

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