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Assembly condemns governor for halting development programmes in parts of the county

Siaya County Assembly Tuesday condemned governor Cornel Rasanga for ordering a halt in development of some wards following a row over taxation.

Members of the County Assembly, contributing to a motion by Sigomere ward MCA Erick Odawa, said the governor’s order amounted to segregation of the people of Siaya, adding that service delivery was a right, not a privilege.

They lamented that the county executive had resorted to blackmail and intimidation instead of telling the public what it had done with the taxes and fees they collect from the residents.

Majority whip in the house, who is also the Uyoma West ward MCA, Samuel Olasi said that service must be commensurate with the taxes and levies collected.

“You cannot force our people to pay taxes yet you do not offer services that can improve their lives. People must get value for the money,” said Olasi.

Yimbo East MCA Francis Otiato accused the governor and his team of dragging their feet when it comes to implementation of projects across the county.

“We prioritized construction of toilets at Nyamonye market and one year down the line, nothing has actualized,” he said adding that it was unfair for the governor to reprimand local residents for refusing to pay taxes for services not rendered.

Usonga ward representative, Sylvester Madialo challenged governor Rasanga to understand and appreciate that the locals will not be forced to pay taxes when there is no service.

The speaker, George Okode, directed the finance committee to dig deeper into the matter to assure the public that there will be no discrimination in service delivery by the county government.

Last week, traders in several markets in Central Alego and West Yimbo wards announced that they would boycott paying market fees to the county government which, they added, had failed to collect garbage and improve on the drainage in the markets.

The traders further complained that the markets lacked toilets and security lights.

But in a rejoinder, governor Rasanga ordered his chief officers to halt any development activity in the wards until the residents agreed to be taxed.
By Philip Onyango

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