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Transport paralysed in Meru town

16 February 2012, 10:24 Tony Ndungú Karomo

Transport in Meru town was yesterday paralyzed for hours after wheelbarrow and cart business operators demonstrated along the streets of Meru town accusing the Meru Municipal Council of imposing heavy taxes on them.

The demonstrating crowd majority aged between 15-20 years old however matched along the streets of Meru town shouting slogans that, Municipal Council management’s team must go, before ending to the District Commissioner office  to air their grievances.

They accused the council for over taxing them without considering their day in-out income profit.

Municipal Council of Meru on Monday issued a new statement to all wheelbarrow and cart operators to pay a fee in a move to implement the council’s by-laws on revenue collection.

A statement signed by the council Town clerk stipulates that any wheelbarrow entering the town on market days will have to part with shs. 20/= whereas a handcarts and donkey carts will be charged shs.40/= each.

Speaking on behalf of the Town Clerk, the treasurer Ms. Jacinta Gakuo said they expect everyone using the Municipal facilities within the town should be liable to pay levies agreed upon by the council.

Gakuo said the implementation of the notice kicks off this Friday with defaulters facing arrest and charged in accordance with the council by-laws.

But according to the operators who sought audience with District Office, Ms Pricilla Wanyiri claimed that they earn less than a hundred shillings per day and charging them sh.40 and sh 20 respectively, is like putting their lives into a demise.

‘The council does not know we don’t own these wheelbarrow but we hire them and the owner charge us sh.50 per day so imagine the Council need sh 20 so what is my benefit, how will I feed my family and is it  like they want me to shift to criminal deals, ‘posed Julius Kirimi. a wheelbarrow pusher.

According to Timothy Mwenda, a handcart puller, most of the youths who operate such businesses are former streets children who are trying to earn a living in the right way.

However Ms.Wanyiri asked them to be calm and give the office a day to intervene assuring them they will have a dialogue with Municipal Council Clerk.Mr.John Mwalimu on the way forward.




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