Court directs Mtito Andei, Mackinnon towns to pay revenue to Taita Taveta county

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024 04:00 | By
Taita Taveta Governor Andrew Mwadime.PHOTO/(@GovernorMwadime)/ X

Residents of Mtito Andei and Mackinnon towns have received a major reprieve after the High court ruled they will only pay taxes to Taita Taveta county.

Justice Lucas Naikuni of the Environment and Lands Court allowed Governor Andrew Mwadime  (pictured) to continue collecting revenue in the two towns pending determination of boundary disputes between the Taita Taveta, Kwale and Makueni counties.

The judge ordered the Mwadime administration to temporarily be the sole collector of revenue and issuer of business permits to traders in the two towns until June 26 this year when the court will deliver its judgment on the boundary issue.

Justice Naikuni also issued an order barring Kwale and Makueni county governments from in any way collecting the revenue or issuing permits in any way from the towns. “ An order prohibiting the County Government of Kwale and Makueni and their agents from collecting revenue in anyway whatsoever or howsoever in Mackinon Town and Mtito  Andei where their predecessor did not collect revenue before establishment of County Governments,” he ordered.

The judge said revenue collected in the towns should be deposited in two escrow accounts. “Pending hearing and determination of the Petition a conservatory order is hereby issued that the appointing the County Government of Taita Taveta to be the sole authority issuing permits and levying county taxes in Mackinon Road town and  Mtito Andei town just as their predecessors did before the establishment of county governments in 2013, and to deposit all the revenues it so collects into an interest earning bank account opened jointly with Kwale and Makueni county governments respectively,” The judge ordered.

The orders were issued after Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah moved to court seeking to have Taita Taveta allowed to collect revenue to allow the National Lands Commission complete its probe on the border disputes between the three counties and provide a report by April 15,2024 and allow the court resolve the suit by June.

Omtatah said that the boundary dispute was being used by the three counties to subject the residents to double taxation.

The court reiterated that the boundary disputes affected Taita Taveta, Kwale and Makueni and thus other spiral effects it has had on the fundamental rights of the ordinary residents, are essentially caused by the insurgencies of historical injustices.

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