The county government of Kisumu in partnership with the Kenya Female Advisory Organization ( KEFEADO )and the National Taxpayers Association (NTA), held a community forum to engage residents of Manyatta B on Tax justice conversations. The forum was hosted by the area MCA, Ms Pamela Odhiambo.
The main objective of the forum was to equip the residents with information on how their taxes were being put to use by the governments.
The forum was attended by the governor’s advisor on People Living with Disability Affairs, Hon. Caroline Agwanda, who urged the participants comprising small scale business people, boda boda riders, to utilize the funds provided by the county government including, the trade fund and the women, youth and PWDs Fund by the county government to boost their livelihoods.
The meeting also educated residents on the need for paying taxes in addition to demanding for quality service delivery. National Taxpayers Association, Executive Director, Madam Irene Atieno emphasized on the need for the local community to be educated on the importance of paying tax and also ensuring equity for those who pay tax to the county government, adding that NTA seeks tax Justice by ensuring transparent, accountable revenue generation to restore the taxes to whom they are due.
While acknowledging the importance of the forum, executive director of KEFEADO, Madam Easter Okech, noted that strengthening essential public service delivery to ensure equal provision of the rights to health, access to water and sanitation, decent housing and sufficient mass transportation services, especially in the context of the unprecedented global crisis COVID-19 can solely be achieved through tax justice.
Ms Odhiambo, on her part said that the forum was meant to engage the voices of Manyatta B residents, in addressing challenges within the community, promising that the various projects by the county government will soon be completed, having been budgeted for.
The forum was an opportunity to underscore the need for a people-driven taxation system that promotes progressive taxation as well as the provision of quality and adequate resources, especially for the low-income residents.
The residents were also educated on the need for paying taxes in addition to demanding for quality service delivery.
By Jackline Omondi
Governor’s Advisor on PWD Affairs Hon.Caroline Agwanda (centre) joined by National Taxpayers Association- NTA Executive Director Ms Irene Otieno (left) and Kenya Female Advisory Organization -KEFEADO Executive Director Ms Easter Okech (3rd left) presenting Kangas to Manyatta “B” women who turned up for a Community Tax Justice engagement forum. The event was a organized in partnership with County Government of Kisumu, KEFEADO, NTA and County Assembly brought together Boda-boda operators and women traders from Manyatta B Waerd who also engaged in various sporting activities. (Picture By Jacob Owiti)
CoG Chair Wycliffe Oparanya with Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o during the weekly update on Preparedness of County Governments on Covid – 19, Prosperity House, Kisumu ( Picture by Lennox Omondi)
Council of Governors Chairman H.E Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has called for a concerted effort from all stakeholders in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing the nation and members of the Press from Kisumu County Headquarters at Prosperity House, Governor Oparanya reported that all the 47 county governments have now been affected by the novel COVID-19 pandemic. With the soaring numbers of positive cases across the nation, Oparanya said the County Governments have continued to enhance their response measures towards the disease. He appreciated the support extended to the devolved units by the Ministry of Health especially in assessing the Counties’ level of preparedness and overall status of healthcare which highlighted some of the challenges counties are grappling with, one of which is stigmatization.
He noted that the Council has tried to create awareness on the disease but a lot still needs to be done to defeat the enemy.
” As Council of Governors, we have striven to create awareness on Coronavirus through radio and TV programs conducted on a weekly basis. However, we note that this is not enough hence there is need for complementary effort from stakeholders”. Governor Oparanya said while appealing to the media fraternity and civil society organizations to partner with the devolved units and conduct civic education on COVID-19 through their different platforms, a step he says will help in providing the public with the needed information.
In line with the Council’s mandate on sharing of information on performance of counties, the Chair outlined that they have continued to provide a platform for sharing of best practices through Community of Practice Forums in different sectors. Some of the key areas handled over the last one week include; active quarantine facilities where 40 counties reported on the status of the active facilities. Currently, there are 818 in the facilities having released 1,044 who were previously confined. According to Oparanya, a total of 10,498 tests have been carried out in 40 counties whereby 1,106 tested positive. Out of this positive cases, 177 are healthcare workers.
The counties have also trained and sensitized an additional 1,272 workers and 1,505 community health workers. Other interventions include: implementation of home based care under which 37 counties have recorded 630 patients; gender interventions whereby the Council launched the Women’s Empowerment Index, County Poverty Profiles and County Budget briefs that detailed the needs of women and children in all the 47 counties in addition to the distribution of sanitary towels to the isolation and quarantine facilities.
Governor Oparanya also called on the public and stakeholders to register to take part on the upcoming multi-agency County Governments Virtual Conference that shall take place on the last week of August to take and share notes on how they have managed the pandemic and continue to provide government services. On the same note, he confirmed that the Lake Region Economic Block shall on 19th August, 2020 unveil the COVID-19 Advisory and Strategy Committee at the LREB Head Office, a ceremony that will be graced by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiang’i.
On the same breath, Governor Nyong’o updated the press on the status of Corona virus disease in Kisumu County confirming that the county has so far recorded 123 positive cases. Out of these, he reported the county had discharged 58, 10 of which were under home based care program.
He noted with concern the number of cases arising from community transmission which stands at 70% of the total infections with about 10 health workers having been infected.
The two leaders emphasized on the need for personal responsibility and concerted efforts in dealing with the disease. They called on all citizens to behave in an extraordinary manner as they continue adhering to existing protocols to stay safe.
BY Nancy Juma