September 26, 2023

Deliver or See the Door, Taita Taveta Governor Warns

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja. Image: (Courtesy)

By Coast Media Group Reporter

Two newly sworn in county executive committee (CEC) members for Water, Sanitation, Environment, Climate Change & Natural Resources, and Trade, Tourism, Industrialisation & Cooperation Development dockets have been told to use their positions for service delivery. 
Witnessing the swearing in ceremony at his Mwatate office, Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja asked Esther Mkaiwawi and Vumi Ringo for the two dockets respectively to work towards achieving his administration manifesto. 
The governor also witnessed the swearing in of Valentina Mwanyasi as a member of the County Public Service Board. 
Mr Samboja is keen to ensure his administration performs through prudent use of resources to implement all his promised development projects before 2022 general election.
“The positions you have been appointed to hold are meant to benefit the public. It is time to streamline service delivery and offer the best for the residents,” he said.
The event was presided over by Wundanyi Resident Magistrate Emily Nyakundi at the Governor’s boardroom in Mwatate.
Mr Samboja warned that he will not condone laxity in his cabinet saying that being the custodians of public resources they should be prudent on how funds were used in delivery of services.
The Taita Taveta County Assembly Speaker Meshack Maghanga pledged the chamber’s commitment in supporting the executive to implement projects. 

Taita taveta acounty assembly speaker Meshack Maghanga. Image: Courtesy)

At the same time, the County government has adopted an automated mobile money paying system for revenue collection in a bid to plug loopholes and increase revenue targets.
In a public notice on Friday (August 14), the department of finance and economic planning says the new system will include vehicle parking fees, land rates, business permits, market stalls and other business cess. 
“We wish to inform members of the general public that County government has adopted an automated mobile money payment system for revenue collection,” the notice reads in part.
In the new cashless payment platform, revenue will be paid through Safaricom PayBill number 899131. 
The department’s rolling out of the digital payment system will boost efficiency by easing the process of making payments as well as maximizing revenue collection.
Furthermore, the cashless mode targets to seal loopholes that have previously led to revenue loss and help curb possible spread of coronavirus through physical transactions.
The department has been battling revenue loss through fraudulent dealings by a section of revenue officers.
Finance and Economic Planning CEC Andrew Kubo on June 3, 2020 told County Assembly’s Budget and Appropriation Committee that the department had interdicted 15 revenue officers for allegedly being involved in forgery and embezzlement of public funds.
The interdicted officers were involved in issuance of fake receipts without county’s water marks.
A taxis operator, James Kamau, lauded the new system saying it will increase productivity as clients will be able to pay their taxes without necessarily going to government premises.
“It is an efficient way of collecting revenue and also saves us time to keeping rushing to County offices for the same. Going cashless will also reduce risk of contracting CIVID-19,” he says adding that the digital system will also curb unscrupulous business operators evading tax payments.
However, a similar automated revenue collection system initiated by the former Governor John Mruttu failed miserably in 2016 after most of the automated revenue collection gadgets were rendered faulty.
A report by the County Assembly indicated that the faulty gadgets created a huge loophole for revenue embezzlement that led to the decline in annual collection.

Edited by; Mwakera Mwajefa

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