County government terminates services of an auctioneer

Laikipia County government has terminated the services of an auctioneer at the popular Rumuruti livestock market as recommended by the Auditor

General Dr Edward Ouko in his 2013/14 financial report.

He said that the county irregularly contracted the services of Cleverline auctioneer to auction goats, sheep and cows at the market

held every Thursday.

In order to collect the cess, the auctioneer uses his own revenue collection receipts, while the county officials use their own

official revenue collection receipts. Further, the auctioneer charged shs.60 and shs.200 for every goat/sheep and cow sold. Meanwhile, the county government charged shs.60 and shs.100 goat/sheep and cow, the report says.

The report added that the total cess collected on the market day by the county government was surrendered intact to the main

cashier at the Rumuruti Sub -County offices.

Meanwhile, the report noted, that the total cess collected by the auctioneer was shared equally between the County Government and

the auctioneer on a cash basis at the end of the market day.

Ouko said that during the financial year 2013/2014, the auctioneer was irregularly paid shs.2, 195, 235 though there was no contractual

agreement between the county government of Laikipia and the auctioneer on the collection of the goat/sheep and cow cess.

He recommends that the county government recovers the amount of money paid irregularly to the auctioneer during the year under review.

He also recommended that the county administration terminates the services of the auctioneer and the revenue officers based within the Sub-County

division be engaged for the purpose of the cess collection.

Last week, differences between the county officials and traders ensued at the market as the county officials took over the roles played by the auctioneer.

The traders protested the dismissal of the auctioneer who they claimed was overseeing the smooth running of the market.

They paralyzed operations at the market for several hours and declined to engage the county officials demanding that the services of

the auctioneer be reinstated. They argued that he had helped in bringing sanity and order at the market.

The director of Cleverline auctioneers Mr. John Macharia Muraguri who had been allegedly contracted by the county government three years ago said that the county government should review his dismissal saying that no complaints had been lodged against him by the traders, owners

or the county government itself during the period.

Laikipia County Revenue Board CEO Mr. Elijah Kinyua confirmed that the county administration had already terminated the services of the

auctioneer following the Auditor General’s recommendations.

However, he did not confirm whether the county government would recover shs.2, 195, 235 from the auctioneer as recommended by the report.

By Mwangi Gaitha