Machakos cuts fees to offer businesses Covid curbs relief


Machakos governor Alfred Mutua. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Businesses in Machakos County will not pay fire licence charges for three months while the registration fee for matatus has been reduced by half in a raft of measures to cushion them in the wake of fresh Covid-19 restrictions.

Market traders will also not pay levies for the three months, while charges for boda boda and tuk tuk operators have been waived.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua said that the new measures will offer relief as the new the measures announced last Friday are set to hit business revenues.

President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered an 8pm to 4am curfew and banned movement into Machakos, Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado and Nakuru counties in a fresh bid to curb a spike in infections in the five devolved units that account for nearly 70 per cent of the country’s Covid-19 cases.

Bars and all liquor joints were also closed indefinitely across the country.

“At this hard economic times due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important that as Kenyans we pull together to assist each other,” Governor Mutua said yesterday.

“To this end and to cushion my people of Machakos, I have engaged various business community players.”

Machakos also slashed parking fees and distribution permits for wholesalers and distributors by half while fees paid for land sub-division services have been waived until end of June, giving a reprieve to property owners.

The measures come at a time the increase in the curfew hours and suspension of movement into and out of the five counties will hit businesses that were slowly recovering from the first Covid-19 restrictions that were imposed in March last year.

The waiver and reduction in the various charges are, however set to hit internal collections for Machakos County.

The County raised Sh417.42 million in the six months to December, a 20.7 percent fall from Sh526.4 million in similar period a year earlier, the latest data from the Controller of Budget shows.

Machakos County posted the sixth-biggest falls in internal revenues in the period under review underlining the adverse effects of the Covid-19 restrictions on businesses.