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Economy

Kidero, Sonko in war of words over improved revenue claim

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A war of words has erupted between Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and his predecessor Evans Kidero over City Hall’s daily revenue collection targets.

Last Week, Mr Sonko claimed the Sh38.2 million collected by his team in two days represented a new efficiency record that resulted from the new regime automating six revenue streams.

Buoyed by that level of efficiency, Mr Sonko went on to assign himself an ambitious daily collection target of Sh100 million (Sh26.4 billion in annual collection), after automation of all the county’s 36 revenue streams.

On Monday, Dr Kidero dismissed the targets as part of the new regime’s public relations spin saying City Hall would struggle to raise Sh15 billion in a year.

According Dr Kidero, it was not a miracle that Mr Sonko’s team was able to collect Sh38.2 million in the first week of the month as it coincides with the period when more than 30,000 matatus in Nairobi usually pay their seasonal parking fees.

“The increase in revenue being bandied around is all lies,” said Dr Kidero.

“The way the county collects money is seasonal and October to March is the high season when people also pay their rent and so we will see high revenues.” Dr Kidero said Nairobi County managed to increase its annual revenues from Sh5 billion to Sh12 billion and also introduced automated system, EJiji Pay, for payment of parking services.

“When we got to City Hall, collections were only Sh5 billion, we moved it to Sh12 billion and if they are saying that they have increased it then let it go to Sh15 billion and above.”

Dr Kidero claimed credit for the introduction of Ejiji Pay, which he said won several awards “and I remember Sonko saying he was going to terminate the contract but right now he is its biggest proponent.”

According to Mr Sonko, however, the improved collection is a result of sting operations mounted by the new team to seal loopholes.

“Let them acknowledge some of the good things we did and let them also take it forward from where we left and improve,’’ Dr Kidero said.

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