MCAs extends public participation on Sakaja’s Finance Bill for 30 days
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has suffered a blow following a resolution from Members of the County Assembly to extend public participation in Finance Bill 2023 for 30 days.
The motion which was tabled by Select Committee on County Finance, Budget and Appropriations Wilfred Odalo Oluoch sought to give Nairobi residents more time to familiarize themselves with the Bill and give their opinion.
Mr Odalo debated that there are two pending bills including the Betting Bill which needs to be debated and passed first, which is linked with the proposed Finance Bill, 2023.
“All these bills must come before a Finance Bill. Even if we say today that we have passed this Finance Bill today, the finances will not be realized,” Mr Odalo said.
The majority of the members from both parties supported his motion, and agreed to give Nairobi residents more time to scrutinize the Bill.
According to the Majority Leader in the Assembly Peter Imwatok, increasing market charges, parking, and some newly introduced charges needs adequate time before the Bill is tabled.
During the debate, Ngara MCA Chege Maura said residents of his ward have raised many questions regarding the Bill, including some of the new charges that have been introduced in the Bill.
“If mwananchi is not happy with the Bill, why don’t we recall it and reorganise the Bill and then bring it,” the MCA said.
The Bill has already been subjected to public participation and during the exercise it emerged that many participants are against the Bill.
The move has slowed the governor’s effort of seeking to boost the county’s source of revenue for the Financial Year 2023/24, which is Sh19.99 billion, higher than the previous targets.
Some of the members who opposed the motion, including the Minority Whip Mark Ronaldo, who said the extension of the engagement time is ill-advised, and that the county will lose its revenue collection target.
Among the proposals in the Bill is to increase the daily parking fees in Nairobi CBD from the current Sh200 to Sh300 and a Sh500 daily charge for city preachers in the parks.
The Bill further proposes that organised groups with less than 100 people using City Park to be charged Sh5,000, while organised groups with more than 100 members will pay Sh10,000. Religious rallies at Kamukunji Grounds will attract a fee of Sh20,000 per day.