Governor James Ongwae signs into law the finance bill, 2018/2019

Kisii Governor James Ongwae has signed into law the Finance Bill, 2018, which grants the County powers to collect revenue from local sources.

The County Government targets to collect KShs.750million from local sources in the financial year 2018/2019.  The bill was passed in the County Assembly following extensive public participation where residents submitted memoranda.

Matatu operators are big winners in the finance bill as they will pay KShs.2,700 monthly down from KShs.3,500 proposed initially. This is after they submitted a memorandum and engaged in consultations with the County Executive on the levies.

Speaker David Kombo, CEC for Finance Moses Onderi, Chair of Budget Committee Dennis Ombachi and leader of majority Timothy Ogugu witnessed the ceremony in the Governor’s office.

“In the wake of recent cuts in shareable revenue to counties, we have to make budget cuts so it is important that we increase revenue from local sources. We widely consulted Kisii residents in developing this bill through public participation. We have made necessary adjustments that relate to the circumstances of the time and issues put out during public participation,” said Governor Ongwae.

He thanked the assembly for their understanding and collaboration in passing the bill. The Governor said the County Government was enhancing its revenue collection system to meet set targets.

“We have so far automated 70 per cent of our revenue streams because we must go paperless and reduce the human interface in revenue collection to seal loopholes,” he added.

Budget Committee Chair Hon. Ombachi said residents were free to submit their memoranda during public participation sittings but the set timelines must be followed.

“Public participation is important but it is not a perpetual process. As leaders, we cannot lock out the views of our people which is why we review the finance bill annually,” said Ombachi.