Sakaja, we can pay our taxes with a smile

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja during his swearing-in ceremony.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja during his swearing-in ceremony on August 25, 2022 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre. I have listened to Sakaja whenever he speaks and I see a person very determined to succeed.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Public transport could be a major revenue earner, but only if passengers use a cashless mode of payment.
  • Introduce a world-class transport system which should offer quality services and use the cashless system.
  • Let every business go cashless and that will maximise revenue collection—then you can offer the services that you have always wanted for us.


I have listened to Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja whenever he speaks and I see a person very determined to succeed.

Not once have I said to myself that the city county could not have gotten a better person who understands a bit of our capital city’s history.

He might have been a toddler or unborn then, but Sakaja has heard stories from those who were there when the only public transporter allowed to operate was Kenya Bus Service (KBS).

And public transport was flawless when “Kaameru” garbage trucks were regular in our estates, guaranteeing a clean environment. 

When there were no broken sewer pipes and the Town Planner’s office was in full control of planning.

You could not litter, urinate or spit in the streets—not because of the fear of being arrested, but because that was the culture.

But I don’t think all is lost. We can reclaim this great city and make it what it was—or better.

What we need are resources and friendly enforceable but firm by-laws. When we say no littering, let there be dustbins or garbage cans every few metres, water fountains and as many city-managed public toilets in our streets. 

Let every nook and cranny be lit and the city planner disallows more ghettos. Let there be controlled planning of buildings.

I heard you say you want to feed the school children, this is a brilliant idea but you need to tell the parents that, you could be planning to steal from Peter to pay Peter because ultimately the funds that you plan to spend must come from the taxpayer.

Innovation

But with innovation, we can pay our taxes with a smile and this is how. 

Public transport could be a major revenue earner, but only if passengers use a cashless mode of payment.

Introduce a world-class transport system which should offer quality services and use the cashless system.

That means the user will pay a tax associated with travel in advance.

I look at the shoppers who visit Gikomba market every day and see people who could earn the erstwhile “Green City in the Sun” millions of shillings daily. How many of these traders pay tax? 

It’s possible to tax them to the maximum and they end up telling you thank you, Sir, Gikomba market is filthy when it rains and extremely dusty during the dry season.

The wooden structures have been an easy target for arsonists; suppose the good governor spent a few million shillings to modernise this market and build storeyed stalls and crown it by putting up a good hotel for the users of the market?

Once again it’s possible for the users of the market to go cashless. Some people will argue that it’s not possible but all you need is a simple POS (Point of Sale) machine, the same as what some parking attendants use to collect parking fees.

Let every business go cashless and that will maximise revenue collection—then you can offer the services that you have always wanted for us.

Joe Mungai, Washington State, USA

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