Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and his deputy Njoroge Muchiri when they addressed county workers at City Hall on August 29, 2022. [Photo/ @SakajaJohnson]
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and his deputy Njoroge Muchiri when they addressed county workers at City Hall on August 29, 2022. [Photo/ @SakajaJohnson]

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has sparked a debate after announcing that collection of revenue by the county will revert to the Nairobi City County (NCC) from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). Sakaja stated that revenue would henceforth be collected by officials from the ticketing department.

Sakaja made the announcement while addressing county workers at City Hall on Monday, August 29. He stated that KRA had failed to meet revenue collection targets for the city, stating that the county would perform better.

KRA took charge of the county’s revenue collection soon after the national government through the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) took over a number of county government functions in 2020. The NMS is currently exiting the scene, with the new Governor making it clear that the county will take charge of all its functions as mandated by the Constitution.

Sakaja and his deputy Njoroge Muchiri, the former Absa Bank Chief Operating Officer, were elected on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket. They have promised pro-business policies including an electronic unified single permit for businesses.

Concern on the return to collection of revenue by county workers is driven by the county officials’ association with harassment of businesses and traders. A section of residents remain fearful that county workers’ could take advantage of the policy shift on revenue collection to shake down business owners. Others argued that the move would open up loopholes for public funds to be diverted.

Questions also emerged on pending approvals for various permits where fees have already been paid to KRA. They took to social media to share their concerns after Sakaja made the announcement.

Sakaja has long reiterated the promise of an end to harassment of traders and small businesses – making it a central pillar of his campaign.

“We will have a city of order, dignity, hope and opportunity for all,” he stated. It remains to be seen how effectively the policy shift on revenue collection will play out

The new Governor had earlier directed for the release of all motorbikes impounded by county officials for disregarding traffic rules.

“I immediately order for the release of impounded motorcycles; we are going to train boda boda operators on how to follow and obey traffic rules,” he declared.

Sample some of the comments that followed his announcement tasking county workers with revenue collection:

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