Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua on Tuesday assented Machakos County Finance Bill (2021) and the Machakos County Climate Change Bill (2021).
The County boss said the Finance Bill will now be the leading light in enacting of new levies and taxes by the government in a bid to enhance service delivery to residents.
The new law is also meant to shield the public from unscrupulous Public Officers who may want to extort illegal fees from them.
Mutua further said the bill comes at a critical time when majority of the residents are grappling with harsh economic times brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Finance Act of 2021 is a guide to the charges, levies, and taxes by the County government for services rendered to Wananchi as well as regulate taxes and levies expected from Wananchi so that Wananchi are aware and protected from rogue public servants who would want to capitalize on lack of information by the Wananchi,” he told the press.
“Most importantly, in light of the hard economic times, the Mwananchi friendly Finance Act of 2021 officially documents and cements all waivers and slashed levies that I initiated to cushion my people during this Covid-19 period in 2021,” added Mutua during the ceremony which was also attended by County Assembly Speaker Florence Mwangangi and County Attorney James Kathili.
Machakos is among five counties that were declared ‘disease zone’ by President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 26 after they were singled out as leading in new Covid-19 infections. Other counties which were placed on partial lockdown are Kiambu, Kajiado, Nairobi and Nakuru.
On his part Kathili said the new Finance Act will legalize the exemptions of taxes to various targeted sectors such as Boda boda Operators, public transport players and real estate developers.
“The Finance Act is very critical because it stipulates the various charges levied by the County government and I urge all Machakos residents to get acquainted with it because every service to the government and charges are governed by this piece of legislation,” said the Attorney.
Touching on the Climate Law, Mutua said the new legislation will guide the county on best practices on climate challenges through the Machakos Climate Act of 2021.
He explained the adoption of the law will also help local and foreign donors identify climate change as a critical component during funding of new development projects.
The county boss has also encouraged all residents of Machakos to familiarize themselves with the current levies and taxes anchored on the Finance Act of 2021.
“This law will guide the county’s climate mitigation measures by providing a framework and developing strategic programs to manage climate change. It will facilitate the effective management of climate change impacts by enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change. The Climate Act will also enable the County government to attract funding from donors who consider climate change legislation a key consideration for funding,” he emphasized.
By Samuel Maina