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Leaders call for electronic tax collection to stem graft

RIFT VALLEY
By By SILAH KOSKEI | November 22nd 2013

By SILAH KOSKEI

Uasin Gishu, Kenya: Stakeholders in Uasin Gishu have called on the county government to adopt an electronic taxation system to curb theft of revenue by corrupt officials ahead of enacting of the Finance Bill into law.

They want all revenue collection points to be electronically enabled to discourage cash interactions between county revenue officers and the tax payers.

Kenya Farmers’ Association Director  North Rift region Kipkorir Menjo called for measures to safeguard taxes paid by the public even as enactment of the law that spells out how the county will generate its revenue is finalised.

“There is need by the administration to come up with a foolproof system of collecting revenue to discourage corrupt officials,” he said.

Recently, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission ranked Uasin Gishu as the most corrupt county.

“It will be of no use to the county to have a law encouraging collection of funds then fail to use it for development and the County Integrated Development Plan will be ideal in providing guidance,” he said.

Zephania Yego, a lawyer in North Rift called on the county government to enact stringent laws to help curb corruption, adding that leaders found abusing office should face the law.

Yego added that the county has resources that need to be used prudently, saying that leaders ought to be accountable to the public.

“The public should be vigilant to keep track of their taxes,” he stated.

Corrupt officials

However, county executive in charge of Trade Phillip Meli revealed plans to computerise revenue collection.

He said though the move may render most workers jobless, it will reduce stealing of cash by corrupt officials.

He explained that once the new system was in place, it would even help farmers to remit their taxes through mobile services.

“The service will be targeting farmers who in the past have been coming to county offices to pay as little as Sh500 while using a lot of money in travel costs,” he added.

The County Finance Bill is currently in its third reading.

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