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Bungoma County to automate revenue collection

15 July 2013, 14:09 Arap Yego

The Bungoma County Government is planning to phase out the manual revenue collection system and introduce a fully automated revenue collection system, a move that strives to seal leaks that have in the past resulted to massive revenue loses.

Speaking in Chwele over the weekend, area Governor Kenneth Lusaka said plans are in top gear to introduce an electronic revenue collection system in the next six months.  

“In Chwele Market alone, over KES 46 Million has been collected since March, but only KES 32 Million has reached the County coffers. If we digitalize our revenue collection system, as we plan to, then theft of revenue will be history,” he said.

Single tax collection mechanism

The Governor disclosed that the County also intends to introduce a single tax collection mechanism that will curb double taxation of traders and businesspersons including boda boda operators who complain of being overtaxed by paying fees to different local authorities in their areas of operation.

“All the local authorities were amalgamated to form the County; we shall look at the best way to introduce a system that will do away with double taxation, which will subsequently encourage more people in the County to venture into business and subsequently improve the standards of living," said Lusaka.

Lusaka at the same time put on notice corrupt County officers and warned them that that risked losing their jobs and facing the full force of the law.

“My Government will not condone corrupt officers who steal public funds; we have set up a special monitoring team that will traverse all collection centres. Anybody who will be caught lining up his or her pocket with County funds will first be sacked and then prosecuted; we will not compromise on that,” Lusaka warned.

Two accountants from Bungoma Municipal Council were interdicted in May over alleged theft of KES 983 789, money that the duo on  different dates said was meant for payment of loans for staff at a local bank.

“We intend to collect close to KES 2 Billion to finance the deficit in our budget and there is no way we can achieve this if we allow public money to go into individual’s pockets,” Lusaka charged.

Bungoma County budget proposal that was presented by the Budget and Appropriation Committee to the County assembly and approved stands at KES 8.5 Billion. In the budget, the County received transfers from the central government amounting to KES 5.949 Billion while locally generated revenues were estimated to be KES 1.62 Billion.

There was a deficit of KES 1.47 Billion in the budget an amount which Ali Mutoka the County the Budget and Appropriation Committee Chairman said will be easily addressed during the public forums on the budget as some other sources of revenue had not be captured in the budget estimates.

“We did not factor in money from Liquor Licensing which now falls under the County governments, Land rates and fees from enforcement of by-laws. All this will greatly reduce the deficit,” said Mutoka last month.

County residents in Bungoma West and Cheptais District appealed to the County to construct customs office at the Lwakhakha and Chebkube area, that are at the Kenya - Uganda border, to generate more revenue.

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