Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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Services within Kitale municipality are likely to improve a great deal after the government decided to reinstate the Local Authority Transfer Funds - LATF to Kitale municipal council after it was suspended three years ago due to debts.
According to the new town clerk Rashid Mwakiwiwi, the council is expecting over Kshs 88 million which is expected to jump start most of the stalled projects and services that had made the town look like a shadow of itself.
Speaking to journalists in his office, the clerk admitted that the town was in a bad shape and thus a lot of efforts by the officers, staff and other stakeholders need to be done to restore the standard shape and look of a town of its caliber.
"I do admit that this town is in a bad shape in almost all aspects ranging from service delivery such as garbage collection to planning especially motor vehicle parking among others hence we have embarked on serious plans to have everything restored," Mwakiwiwi said as he responded to questions from reporters about the poor state of affairs in the entire town.
The clerk has at the same time put on notice corrupt council workers especially in the revenue collection department whom he pointed out have employed dirty tactics of not surrendering all the collected money to the treasurer of the council.
He noted that within a short time that he has been at the council he has established that there are several former casual workers who were laid off by the council as revenue collectors but are still moving around with the cards masquerading as its workers and continue collecting money from unsuspecting traders.
The officer said that new council identity cards and receipt books shall be introduced among other measures to curb the vice that has robbed both business operators and the council millions of money through such people.
A fraction of the anticipated LATF funds shall be used to purchase a new lorry that is bound to help enhance the collection of garbage within the town which has been a major failure on the side of the council as the town is full of litter and garbage at different points.
Mwakiwiwi said that he was to ensure that the purchase of the lorry is effected for better service delivery and noted that in the meantime the council has employed youths on casual basis to help open up the drainage system in the town which had failed completely.
Among the immediate measures aimed at improving the town with urgency is the introduction of litter collection points which the clerk said shall be put at strategic points where the lorry shall be collecting after business operators or rather traders assembly it there for collection.
Use of council by-laws
The chief officer noted that the council will not hesitate to implement the council by-laws on people such as traders or even members of the public who shall breach the new conditions that are meant to restore the town's lost glory.
Members of the public who shall be found dropping litter aimlessly outside the litter collection points shall be arrested and charged in the court of law according to the council by-laws.
Likewise traders and owners of buildings who do not paint their premises shall also face the same action after the clerk pointed out that virtually all buildings in the town have stayed for many years without being painted despite the law requiring that they be painted annually.
The Matatu and Boda Boda sector
Soon Matatus plying into the town shall be relocated to the municipal council stage next to the Kenyatta Stadium, a move that was earlier resisted by the operators.
Boda boda operators shall also have properly designated stages to operate from other than making stages at areas of their own choice or convenience.
However the clerk noted that the new changes shall not be effected without proper consultations and dialogue among the stakeholders involved in the different areas of operation.
"I know that an earlier move did not materialize because there was no proper dialogue between all the stakeholders but in this new move I will ensure that we involve all the stakeholders one group after the other so that before we start acting every affected party knows why such a move is necessary and are aware of where to be moved to other than moving people without showing them an alternative place of operation," the clerk said.
He said that the new plans are aimed at de-congesting the town especially the roads that have become very narrow due to vehicles packing at the roadside and also to have proper plans of the town especially as the country prepares to embrace county governments.
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