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City Hall’s bid to boost its coffers stalls over recess

Plans by City Hall to increase revenue collection by introducing new levies are on hold as the county assembly went on recess before debating the Finance Bill.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero wants to raise liquor licensing fees and levies in the gaming industry.

The government also proposed to introduce new fees for weights and measures. It is hoped that improved revenue collection would generate more money for the devolved unit that has been operating without enough cash to pay its workers.

The Finance Bill as well as three others have lapsed and will have to be republished. Public participation will be conducted at the county government’s cost.

FINANCIAL CRISIS

The Urban Regulation Bill, the Urban Agriculture Bill and the Solid Waste Management Bill were read for the second time but are still at the committee stage.

The county has been facing a financial crisis, prompting the governor to request Members of the County Assembly to approve a proposal to borrow Sh4 billion.

Some of the money is meant to pay workers and the rest for development.

However, the MCAs are digging in for a fight. They were adamant that they would not pass any Bills until they get money for the Ward Development Fund.

While endorsing the names of four members of the fund, the administrative team that will oversee the implementation of the Sh16 million kitty for the 85 wards, the MCAs vowed not to approve any Bills.

WARD FUND

“Now that we have the committee in place, we will not accept any excuses. The Executive must know that we will not pass any Bills until we find money in the ward fund accounts next year,” said Majority Whip David Mberia.

A City Hall official indicated that the Executive is seeking to recall MCAs to pass the Finance Bill in January.

MCAs went on recess last week and will resume work next February when City Hall targets to collect revenue from licence renewals.

“If we are called early, we will not return. We cannot endorse new charges yet we have not seen development for two years,” said the Kahawa West representative, Mr Patrick Ngaruiya.