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Thika residents endorse Kiambu Finance Bill with minimal reservations.

A section of the participants who deliberated on the Kiambu Finance Bill 2017 at the Thika Community Hall.

Thika residents on Wednesday unanimously endorsed the Kiambu County Finance Bill 2017 at a Public Participation forum held at the Community Hall.

For the first time in the history of devolution, the event passed incident free with all present admitting to the fact that it served their interests quite well. Save for very minimal reservations and proposals for amendments, the entire bill was passed to the letter.

Virtually all fees and charges had been reviewed downwards in the proposed bill, an issue that went well with the participants.

Thika District Business Association Chairman Alfred Wanyoike termed the bill as ‘Wanjiku friendly’ as it had catered for all the sectors with the client in mind.

“I would like to thank the county government for this year’s bill as it has factored in all our demands as the financiers of the county. Save for a few amendments here and there, the proposals are good as they have reviewed all payments downwards,” said Wanyoike.

Wanyoike therefore called on the residents to reciprocate the county government’s gesture through diligently paying their dues to allow it to serve them better.

His sentiment were echoed by the office of the area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina through his Persona Assistant John Mwangi Njuguna who pledged their support to the county government’s endeavours.

“We are amazed as Thika residents in the manners matters have been handled this year and as the office of the area MP, we will support the county government in its mandate to serve our people,” said Mwangi.

Among the major highlights of the bill were the reduction of County residential houses rents, licence fees for various businesses as well as car parking fees.

For instance, a single room house in Ofafa Estate which was previously sh. 1,000 now reverts back to defunct Municipal Council of Thika’s rate of sh. 700. Daily hawking fee (in designated areas) has now been zero rated, and so is street Kinyozis and salons. Previously, these hawkers paid sh. 20 daily.

A general shop licence had its licence reduced to sh. 2,500 down from sh. 3,500 with kiosks now being charged sh. 2,000.

Proposed Amendments.

The residents however proposed the following amendments to the proposed bill:-

1. The county government to classify the kinyozis, salons and milk bars to separate common one from the classy high class beauty salons and spas.
They suggested that only the street kinyozis should be exempted from paying licences. The rest should be classified and charged according to equivalent businesses.

2. Tenancy agreement for county residential houses should be reduced from sh. 2,500 to sh. 1,000.

3. Transfer fees for county residential houses be reduced from sh. 10,000 to sh. 5,000.

4. All arrears accrued for non-payment of fees and charges due to the legal tussle with the previous regime be waived and people start afresh.

5. Moi and Madaraka markets open air traders be included in payment of a daily sh. 10 fee instead of the proposed zero rating.

6. Butchery licences be reduced to about sh. 4,000 instead of the proposed fee of sh. 4,900.

7. All miscellaneous fees such as the daily charges of sh. 50 paid to transport meat be scrapped to avoid double taxing the butcheries.

8. The county government reviews the inspection charges for fire extinguishers (excluding re-filling) from the proposed sh. 300 per extinguisher to an annual general fee of sh. 1,000 per establishment.

9. Remove the “Evidence Fee” of sh. 1,000 charged to Jamhuri Market traders.

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