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Nyeri traders protest over the proposed finance bill

05 February 2014, 22:10 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - Business and transport activities were Tuesday disrupted in Nyeri town after traders held demonstrations from town to the county assembly, Ruring’u, along the busy Nyeri-Karatina road.

Almost 500 traders demonstrated against the proposed county finance bill.

The traders under the body of Nyeri Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (NASVIT) said the bill should be amended in totality for there was no public participation during drafting.

NASVIT chairman, Amos Muchiri said the bill is unconstitutional since it lacked citizen participation in its drafting as required by law and that it contravenes many acts of parliament which are superior above the county laws.

Muchiri said the protest was due to dissatisfaction by the traders and therefore decided to petition the Bill contending for the citizen participation and involvement in the entire process.

“The document is a fraud and we have no confidence with it. The residents and other stakeholders’ requests to be included in the drafting process were ignored by the county executive,” Muchiri said.

His sentiments were echoed by the Boda Boda operators’ chairman, Joseph Kimondo Wambui who complained that the county government is intending to increase motorbike parking fee from KES 20 to KES 50.

He faulted the decision stating that there are no justifiable reasons with the move since there is shortage of parking sections in town and cleanliness has not been upheld.

He added that the Bill is not clear in various sections, more so, it is discriminative.

Kimondo noted that according to the bill if a Bodaboda operator is suffering from any infectious disease he should not be working in the town.

The furious traders said they will move to court if the county assembly passes the Bill at its current state and will draft their own copy and forward it to the ward representatives.

They asked the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) to specify circumstances and provisions under which county governments are allowed to increase charges and levies.

However, while addressing the demonstrators, the County committee of Finance, Planning, Budget and Appropriations chairman, Paul Ngiria said the traders’ memorandum will be addressed.

He tried to convince them that the draft was not the final copy but was just a proposal and the citizens input will be considered through consultations.

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