Columnists

LETTERS: Letting hawkers in CBD wrong move

Governor Mike Sonko (left) is greeted by a hawker on Tom Mboya Street in the city centre. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Governor Mike Sonko (left) is greeted by a hawker on Tom Mboya Street in the city centre. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Am I the only person sensing mischief in the new regulation by Nairobi County brass authorising 10,000 hawkers in the city centre?

This is without a doubt a foolhardy move intended to frustrate the general public who actually own or rent offices and stores trying to conduct their day to day businesses.

Before the regulations Nairobi city centre had been chaotic with the costermongers attempting to display and sell their wares on every available open space.

Far from the seemingly intended purpose to bring some semblance of proper management in the city, I am sure that the huge number of street sellers will be impossible to manage. And with that associated vices such as increase in robbery will follow.

The move also puts rent- and parking fee paying traders at a disadvantage and could put most of them out of business. If customers’ access to their shops was a daunting task before, after the regulations its bound to become nearly impossible and thus keep customers away.

The proposition to relocate the hawkers to a designated area is worth further exploration since it is the only way to ensure that both the hawkers and established traders earn a living and generate revenue for the county government.

Their relocation coupled with the plan to as well ban matatus from accessing the city centre should be enough to bring a modicum of decongestion in the city.

Here’s my advice to governor Mike Sonko. A city worth its salt works hard to deliver ease to the working masses as well the city dwellers. A populist approach is not the way to go about achieving this end.

Mr Sonko should ban the hawkers from the city centre and he will surely achieve the decongestion dream that his predecessors have tried and failed to achieve.

Leah Nyasuna Via email

We should introduce taxation in our school curricula

I n spite of the high significance attached to taxation, it is a little understood subject in Kenya.

Few people have the roughest idea on how taxes are computed on their salary or on the goods and services they buy. This explains why every tax returns filing season is “our time to eat” for the accountants who help the working class file their returns.

Against this backdrop, it is about time for Kenya to introduce taxation in the education system as a way of inculcating a culture of tax-know how to our young ones as they progress from one rung to the other on the academic ladder.

Most tax administrations cite lack of basic knowledge as one of the major causes of tax non-compliance. Introducing taxation in our school curriculum can go a long way in raising future taxpayers who will not only be cognisant of the importance of taxation in a sovereign nation, but also prepare them to be compliant taxpayers. This measure could be the badly needed antidote to dealing with non-compliance.

To Kenya Revenue Authority’s credit, it has been reaching out to future taxpayers through school outreach programmes covering secondary schools and universities.

Daniel Muema Nairobi