Kisumu County will lose nearly Sh70 million each month in revenue after more than 3,000 businesses were destroyed in an ongoing demolition exercise.
The estimates were provided by Chief Finance Officer Eric Angwenyi yesterday.
A spot check by The Standard around the central business district revealed a sorry trail of destruction and heavy losses incurred by the traders.
With a revenue ceiling target of Sh1.5 billion this financial year, the loss of taxes would create a huge deficit in the county government’s coffers unless the traders are re-resettled.
It is estimated that up to 5,000 direct jobs have been lost in the on-going demolitions. The affected traders have accused elected county leaders of abandoning them in the hour of need.
"We are wondering why all the leaders, including MPs and MCAs, are silent even as more people continue to be rendered jobless. No leader has come out to question why this is being done to us. No one is asking where the county government will resettle us," said Michsael Okeyo, whose hotel was destroyed on Tuesday.
City Manager Doris Ombara said the affected traders were likely to be given new open spaces in town. “We are working round-the-clock to ensure that the traders are allocated space to resume work.”
Ms Ombara said that daily revenue collections would be temporarily affected. "Once we settle the affected traders, we hope that business will pick up again."
The city boss also urged traders to be patient as the county looked into their affairs.
Sources said revenue collection in the county has stagnated despite the introduction of a raft of austerity measures to boost earnings. The county, sources revealed, collects between Sh45 million and Sh50 million daily.
The county has automated revenue streams that allow residents to pay for parking, land rates and business permits. Other collections are handled manually.
The county had sought help to achieve its Sh5 billion revenue target.
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