Embu traders have vowed to boycott the new business licences and permits imposed by the county government.
On Thursday March 5, angry merchants protested at Kiritiri market over increased rates, saying the new levies would make the cost of doing business prohibitive.
The county government had issued an ultimatum for traders to pay for the new business permits before March 1.
Under the Kiritiri Business Community Welfare Association, the traders said they had submitted a written memorandum to the Trade CEC and the County Assembly of Embu petitioning them to review the high levies, but to no avail.
Former Mavuria MCA Joseph Nyaga cited a hardware shop that last year paid Sh29, 000 for a permit but this year is required to pay Sh73,000.
“The elevation of Kiritiri market status without commensurate improvement in infrastructure, business environment or other basic services such as sewerage, lighting, clean water, fire engine, drainage and sanitation negates the principles of good accountable governance and shared prosperity,” said Mr Nyaga.
The Association’s Vice-Chair Pastor Cecily Munyi, who has been a trader at Kiritiri for over 20 years, said there had been haphazard implementation of previous Finance Acts.
MCAs have conceded that the new levies are high and called for the repealing of the Act.