Homa Bay sand transporters protest ‘harassment’ by police and tax officials » Capital News

RACHUONYO, Kenya, April 3 – Sand haulers in Kasipul Division are up in arms against “alleged harassment by police and county revenue officers”.

The carriers staged a protest over the issue on Friday, accusing officials of extortion and harassment, saying the trend threatened to shut them down.

Carriers from the Mogochendo Transporters Group led by their chairman Moses Ouma have raised concerns about the existence of an extortion ring backed by police and senior county government officials and hooligans linked to politicians.

However, the Assistant County Commissioner (ACC) of Kasipul Division, Michael Kishoyian, commended the truckers for their peaceful protest and assured them that their grievances would be addressed urgently.

Ouma said they did not fail to pay the tax as required by law but the way it is collected is unfair and is killing their business which they depend on to feed their families as well as the owners of the vehicles for repay the loans they took out to buy the trucks for business.

He said that the tax officials have erected several roadblocks where they collect the tax for each truck with sand, which is a normal thing to do, but the problem is that the roadblocks have become an extortion network to impose taxes. heavy fines by the threat of hooligans who also beat the drivers.

Ouma, who was speaking at the meeting, said drivers are arbitrarily arrested for no clear reason, vehicle keys taken and they don’t care if the vehicle is held all day and released after paying a fine which is also arbitrary.

“There is no standard rate for taxes and fines. Sometimes we are fined as high as sh. 30,000. They don’t give receipts and sometimes if they do, the receipt is blank,” he said, holding up the receipts they were carrying.

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The ACC who chaired the meeting on behalf of Rachuonyo Sub County DCC, David Kiprop, said that all their grievances will be addressed through an appropriate channel.

“The solution to the grievances calls for a multi-spectral approach since the issue of revenue collection rests with the county government,” he said and promised to call another meeting so that they bring together all the other stakeholders.

However, Rachuonyo South Sub County Police Commander Lilies Wachira who was present at the meeting promised to act immediately against any police officers involved in the harassment of the truck drivers.

Sallie R. Loera