A group of Fishermen in Kipini Division of Tana River County on Tuesday demonstrated against illegal taxation by the Revenue Department of the County Government.
Speaking to the press, a representative of the fishermen, Feisal Abdah said the Department of Revenue was implementing revenue collection proposals that have not been discussed or passed by the County Assembly of Tana River.
“We have been informed by our Member of the County Assembly (MCA), Manese Guyo that these proposals are still in the second stage in the County Assembly. However, the revenue officers down here have been implementing them,” lamented Abdah.
Abdah said the revenue officers had been confiscating their fish and demanding money without proper explanation.
The fishermen also said the proposed rates were exorbitant and unimaginable compared to what other counties tax fishermen.
Speaking at the same function, Chairlady of Fishmongers, Ms. Firdaus Mohamed said “it is not wise to charge us a cess of Sh500 per kilogram of Jumbo prawns and only charge a cess of Sh.200 for a 90kg camel, that unreasonable”.
Ms. Firdhaus claimed the new rates were a scheme to make the people of Kipini poor because they did not vote for the current administration.
Responding to the claims, the Tana River County Director of Revenue, Kase Daido, refuted claims that the Department is implementing the new rates.
Daido said the fishermen in have for long Kipini been taking advantage of the few numbers of revenue officers to sneak out fish without paying revenue.
“We are using the 2016 rates. The issue here is that these people have been evading paying revenue since we had few officers here. We recently added more revenue officers and things are tight now and that is why you hear this noise,” he stated.
The Revenue Director said the Department was yet to implement new rates since the Assembly has been holding Finance Bills since 2017, with three of the Bills yet to be discussed on the floor of the House.
By Simon Guruba