Anxiety as headcount kicks off at Kisumu Revenue collection offices

Fear has gripped County Government of Kisumu Revenue collection officers following a head count called to weed out ghost workers and streamline operations in the department.

The officers have Monday and Tuesday to fill in forms indicating their duty stations, date of birth and date of employment.

The County Executive Committee (CEC) Member in charge of Finance, Nerry Achar said the exercise is geared towards assessing the departments staffing needs to help boost revenue collection.

Achar said there were conflicting figures on the number of revenue collection officers in the county adding that the exercise was not targeting certain individuals but will enable the Human Resources office to establish the number of new officers to recruit.

A similar exercise was conducted early this year to determine the exact number of county government workers but the results have not been made public.

On paper we have about 4, 300 county government workers but when you go on the ground they are not there. Even in the revenue department we are understaffed and that is why we cannot meet our targets, said the CEC.

Speaking during the launch of the exercise at the county headquarters in Kisumu today, Achar asked all the officers to fill in the forms adding that those who fail to do so shall be deleted from the payroll.

She said besides determining the number of workers, the exercise shall help establish the number of officers due for retirement to help in planning for their succession.

Most of the officers who turned up for the exercise expressed fears that the move was likely to affect their jobs since they have been under pressure to boost revenue collection.

We have recorded a slump in revenue collection after the introduction of the cashless system due to many reasons which the county leadership is aware of but they want to target some individuals, said one of the revenue collectors who declined to be named.

The county government introduced a cashless revenue collection on 1st July 2017 in collaboration with Strathmore University and Cooperative Bank.

The move was aimed at doubling revenue collection and sealing loopholes where some of the revenue collection officers were accused of pocketing county money.

However the CEC said the collection which dropped in July has stabilized with Sh. 80 million collected in August up from Sh. 51 million in July.

The figures, he said were bound to increase further this month to reach the projected Sh. 200 million per month by the end of this year.

Apart from employing more revenue officers, the CEC said enforcement vehicles shall be purchased to ensure that the targets are met.

Source: Kenya News Agency