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Senators tell governors to stop imposing oppressive levies

By MWAKERA MWAJEFA-  DAILY NATION

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Senators Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) and Hassan Omar (Mombasa) have urged county governors to stop charging what they termed as oppressive levies to small-scale traders within their jurisdictions.Speaking at Bombolulu in Nyali Constituency on Saturday, the senators expressed disappointment over the high taxes that were preventing the common mwananchi from earning a livelihood.“How can county chiefs expect boda boda operators to survive economically if they continue to charge them levies beyond their means?” senator Omar asked.The senator complained that most counties had increased their taxes to boost their local revenues without putting into consideration the income index of small-scale traders.

“In their quest to boost their local revenue, some governors have gone overboard and are fleecing boda boda operators, hawkers and small-scale traders without an iota of humanity in their hearts,” he said.While launching the Bombolulu boda boda group, Mr Omar told police to stop harassing the operators and instead ensure their security especially when offering services during odd hours in the crime-prone area.“Police should stop harassment and work with the boda boda operators who have become targets of petty criminals who attack and rob them of their meagre earnings,” he added.

ATTACKS ON BODA BODA RIDERS

Cases of attacks and killings of boda boda riders have become rampant in Kisauni and operators requested the senator to come to their aid saying their lives were in danger after 7.30 pm.One boda boda operator accused some of his colleagues of working in partnership with criminals to steal from them their earnings and motorcycles.“Some of our own are jealous when you get more passengers than them so they work in cohorts with criminals to disrupt your operations at times causing fatalities,” the operator claimed.On accountability and transparency, Senator Omar called on the national and county governments to cut down on wastages saying some expenditures did not warrant their budgetary allocations.“Health and development projects should be given the highest priority when it comes to allocation of funds otherwise danger lurks for county chiefs and members of the county assemblies,” he warned.Senator Khalwale called for regional balance when it comes to employment opportunities saying the country had sunk deeply into tribal outfits which were dangerous for national cohesion and integration."That is why we would like you to support the Okoa Kenya initiative of changing our Constitution,” he said.He urged the Mombasa County leadership within Cord coalition to work together warning that any differences amongst them would give Jubilee a chance to cause political havoc in the Coast region.“Coast has been the doyen of opposition politics since the introduction of multiparty democracy in the 1990s and we cannot afford to lose this because of leadership differences or wrangles,” he said.