The Star (Nairobi)

27 March 2014

Kenya: Traders Appeal Over Nambale Market Stalls

MORE than 200 traders have appealed to the Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong to revoke the list of Nambale Market stalls allottees. In a memorandum read by Wycliffe Wandera, the traders said some former councillors allocated themselves many stalls at the yet-to-be-opened market.

They were speaking to reporters in Nambale town on yesterday after meeting Ojaamong. The traders said some revenue officers are imposing higher licence fees on them. Ojaamong toured Matayos, Bumala and Funyula markets where he met with the traders. Wandera said the county government should review the business levies. He said M-Pesa business operation fee rose from Sh13,500 to Sh30,500 while phone charging businesses pay Sh20,000 up from Sh3,000.

Wandera said cybercafe operators pay Sh12,500 up from Sh2,100 while posho mill operators pay Sh7,500 up from Sh2,500. However, county revenue officials Charles Andima and Joseph Okole read the Finance Act whose charges contradicted those stated by the traders.

The Act states that M-Pesa operators should pay Sh10,000, cybercafes operators Sh15,000 while posho mills and small chemists are to pay Sh5,000. Ojaamong asked the traders to pay taxes in time if they expect service delivery from the county government.

He said some individuals have hatched a plot top kill devolution by frustrating revenue collection plans. Ojaamong said concerns raised by the traders were genuine and promised full public participation in the county's development plans. He said the county health department bought and distributed Sh30 million worth drugs to local hospitals. Ojaamong warned medical personnel against hoarding the drugs for personal financial gains. Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa told revenue officers to produce the simplified version of the Finance Act to enable traders know the correct rates set by county assembly.

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