Written by John Kabaka
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Kakamega Mayor Mathias Shichele says the council will convene to debate proposals for periodic toll fees for public transport service vehicles operating in the area, submitted by a thirteen-member team consisting the town hall chiefs and officials of transport companies and Sacco societies.
The team was formed three weeks ago to formulate out a deal on motor vehicle parking fees to be paid periodically to reduce fraud and cheating at the toll station in an exercise that would see all toll stations removed from the highways leading into Kakamega town.
Members of the team included: the town clerk, treasurer, deputy mayor and chairmen of the town planning, finance and social services committees while the operators were represented by seven officials drawn from a cross section of transport companies and transport Sacco societies operating in the area.
The committee was formed after protest by the operators that the new parking fee guidelines that came in force this month were too high. The operators have proposed that the fees be replaced by monthly or bi-monthly parking fee stickers.
The council began charging Sh.100 per entry for the 14-seater matatus, Sh.130 per entry for mini buses and Sh.200 per entry for buses on July 1st, up from Sh.70, Sh.100 and Sh.150 respectively for the categories of public vehicles.
The new rates also affected the smaller vehicles, the 7-seater, nguruwe, Zuzuki Maruti , Probox and Tuk Tuk. Penalties for defaulters have also been enhanced from Sh2, 000 to Sh.5, 000.
Kakamega Mayor Mathias Shichele said the committee was mandated to develop the monthly, quarterly and half years parking fees for each category of public service vehicles and report their finding to the council after a fortnight.
Revenue from the toll stations accounts for about Sh2.1 million of the council's total revenue every month.
A huge unmet wage bill however, has seen the council raise parking fee and toll fees charges by 25 percent, in order to plug a monthly sh.35 million deficit in the budget, mainly precipitated by uncontrolled employment of workers in the recent past.
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