Top Stories / Counties
Wednesday, 20 Sep 2017 16:09 EAT
Members of the County Assembly yesterday faulted Governor Alfred Mutua’s move to suspend about 437 county staff attached to the Finance and Revenue Collection department.
Dr Mutua also came under fire following his executive order stopping taxation of all small-scale traders, terming the move ill timed, poorly thought out and ‘an act of economic sabotage.’
The MCAs, debating the first Motion following the governor’s address to the House, said Dr Mutua acted outside his constitutional mandate and vowed to take action to reverse the directive.
Barely two days after being sworn into office for his second term, Dr Mutua raided the County Headquarters where he ordered all staff attached to the Finance department out of offices and vowed to bring in Finance and Human Resources experts to audit the various activities.
In his address to the assembly, Mutua explained his move was aimed at weeding out corrupt and lazy officers to pave way for a more accountable, efficient and responsible crop of county staff.
Dr Mutua also insisted his government will maintain the no-taxation policy on all small scale traders across the county in order to insulate them from economic hardships.
But majority of MCAs who contributed to the Motion described Mutua’s move as illegal and sure recipe for economic crisis and court battles from the suspended staff.
Muthetheni Ward representative, Jeremiah Munguti who was among MCAs who criticized the governor over the sackings told the assembly, the executive was in the process of replacing the suspended staff.
“From my own investigation I have learnt that there is recruitment ongoing to replace the suspended staff and my advice is that a house committee should be immediately set up to investigate the matter,” he said, adding that county government risked legal suit from the suspended officers.
Nominated MCA, Hellen Ndeti also criticized the sackings, saying it went against the governor’s own promise to create thousands of jobs for Machakos residents.
Kangundo Central MCA, Moses Musyoka and his Matuu counterpart, Judas Ndawa fiercely criticized Mutua’s directive to ‘offer indefinite tax holiday’ for small-scale entrepreneurs, terming the move as ‘a serious sabotage’ to the county’s financial security.
“We are aware that this county is operating in financial deficit and a lot of money is required to finance various obligations which relate to the very people we represent. It is therefore untenable for the governor to declare ‘a taxless society’ without adequate consultations,” said Musyoka.
The Matuu MCA claimed the governor’s decree stopping revenue collections was political, and urged the assembly to move swiftly and reverse the order.
“We cannot wait for a House committee to be set up to investigate the matter. This is an issue of great concern which must be dealt with forthright. This House has an obligation to ensure the law if followed to the latter,” he said.
He said taxes must not only be collected but also reported accurately and accounted for to the last cent.
Assembly Speaker, Florence Mwangangi directed Tala Ward MCA, Alex Kamitu who is also leader of the minority to table a report relating to the matter Thursday next week.