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Homa Bay County seeks to seal loopholes, raise its revenue

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga and her deputy Oyugi Magwanga addressed the media at the county headquarters on September 12, 2022. [James Omoro, Standard]

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga plans to revamp revenue collection by sealing loopholes that have resulted in the loss of millions of shillings of taxpayer money.

The governor has stopped revenue collection for 15 days as her administration investigates the flaws in the collection system.

In the recent past, a number of government agencies have flagged the county  for poor revenue collection. A recent report by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu says Homa Bay as among counties that spend locally collected revenue at source.

And now, Wanga hopes to reverse the trend. She has tasked her officers to investigate the revenue collection systems and identify areas that have led to the pilferage of collected funds. Wanga, who was accompanied by her deputy Oyugi Magwanga, took the action as a way of fighting corruption. 

Addressing journalists in her office, Wanga said: “We have realised that many officers collect revenue but they don’t remit it to the county government accounts. This is what we must eradicate the theft,” Wanga said.

Some workers suspected to have been engaged in malpractices were also stopped from handling revenue. “Nobody should collect revenue for the next 15 days from Wednesday. Anybody who has been working as a revenue collection officer should report to the Chief Officer for Finance for further advice,” Wanga said. The governor formed a 13-member task force that will investigate issues surrounding revenue collection.

“The investigations will help us know the actual amount of revenue to expect in a month. This will also enable us get the real revenue numbers we should target as a county government,” Wanga said.

The findings of the investigations will enable the governor and her team to take appropriate actions how to streamline the revenue management system.

Wanga told traders in the county to be wary of anybody taking money from the in disguise of revenue collection for the county.

“Let traders be aware that nobody should collect revenue for the stipulated duration,” Wanga said.

Magwanga said the measure is aimed at sealing pilferage of funds to enable the county government fulfil its promises to the people.