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Kisumu stares at drop in revenue in new order

By Kepher Otieno | March 2nd 2021

Vehicles parked along Oginga Odinga Street in Kisumu on February 21, 2021. The County government has since banned parking of taxis, private vehicles, tuktuks and bodabodas within the CBD. [Kevine Omollo, Standard]

Kisumu County is once again staring at a decline in revenue after Governor Anyang' Nyong'o's administration barred parking of vehicles in the Central Business District.

The county has recorded reduced revenue collection and with the latest ban, it is likely to lose even more.

Sources at the County Finance Department disclosed that with the new parking order, the county may lose around Sh500,000, which is what it collects in a fortnight from the parking fees.

This comes amid a recent financial audit by the county administration that revealed while Kisumu has the capacity to collect more than Sh4.5 billion annually, it only manages Sh900 million.

Last year, a report from the office of the Controller of Budget for the 2017/18 financial year showed a decline in the performance of the county’s revenue.

Revenue collection decreased by 12.9 per cent from Sh1 billion in 2016/17 to Sh879.90 million in 2017/18.

Further, Kisumu County government missed its revenue target for the 2019/2020 financial year by more than Sh634 million.

While it had projected to collect over Sh1.4 billion that financial year, it only managed Sh804,387,971 as it emerged that revenue collection over the last six years has been declining.

An audit showed that the county revenue was on a downward trend after many small-scale businesses which were sitting on land belonging to Kenya Railways and the ports and those on road reserves were demolished last year.

The dip can also be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic that saw the reduced movement of motorists as well as banned local and international flights that affected taxi operators at Kisumu International Airport.

The taxi operators recorded reduced demand for their services due to the Covid-19 outbreak that came just after the demolitions.

Last week, city askaris engaged motorists in running battles as they patrolled the city centre to enforce the new order by acting city manager Abala Wanga.

Wanga said all vehicles, tuk tuks and motorbikes were not allowed on Oginga Odinga and Angawa streets within the city centre, saying they should park in the back streets.

The move is aimed at decongesting the lakeside city as Nyong'o seeks to effect the urban renewal policy reforms aimed at making Kisumu city safe for residents and visitors.

The notice has also affected several taxi operators who have over the years been parking on the busy Oginga Odinga Street.

Also not spared are private vehicles, boda bodas and tuk tuks, who have been barred from parking within the city centre. The new orders have also affected hawkers.

But even as the city authorities moved fast to enforce the new orders, Wanga clarified that the vehicles will not be barred from dropping off patients to hospitals or clients going to the malls, shops or banks.

Enforce directive

"We have no problem with them accessing the CBD, but they will not be allowed to park on the aforementioned streets," declared Wanga.

Those who fail to heed the directive will have their vehicles towed to the County Public Works parking yard.

Already, Kisumu County Commissioner Josephine Ouko, County Police Commander Samuel Anampiu and Kisumu Central OCPD Peter Katam say they have orders to enforce the directive.

The county administration has been working hard to beautify the Kisumu Highway corridor from Kisian to Nyamasaria by planting flowers and trees on the roadsides.

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