Calm returns to Rumuruti market after livestock traders, county govt agree on levies

Those who buy cows from the market will pay Sh200 while the sellers will pay Sh100.

Sunday January 24 2016

Some of the traders arrested at the Rumuruti

Some of the traders arrested at the Rumuruti livestock market in Laikipia on January 14, 2016 following a disagreement over new levies. Calm has now returned to the market following an agreement with the county government on the new levies. PHOTO | STEVE NJUGUNA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By STEVE NJUGUNA
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Calm has returned to Rumuruti livestock market in Laikipia County after two weeks of differences between traders and county government officials over increased levies.

Laikipia West Sub-county Administrator Sammy Mwangi and the County Chief Revenue Officer Elijah Kinyua on Saturday held talks with the traders who agreed to cooperate with the county government.

During the meeting it was agreed that buyers will pay a new fee of Sh60 for every sheep bought from the market while traders will pay Sh30 for each animal sold.

Those who buy cows from the market will pay Sh200 while the sellers will pay Sh100 for each animal to the county government.

The traders had earlier complained that the new fees were high, demanding that the auctioneer whose tender was cancelled be recalled back.

Speaking at the market, the official said that an agreement had finally been reached.

“We have resolved that the traders will pay the new fee and we as the county government have assured them that all the services that they demand will be provided. This is to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from the market,” noted Mr Mwangi.

He added that sheds and toilets would be put up in the market to make it an ultra-modern one.

“We have listened to their demands and we have decided that money will be set aside to put up the toilet and market sheds. This is to make the traders work in a clean environment,” he added.

However, the director of Cleverline Auctioneers Mr John Muraguri, who had been granted the mandate to collect levies from the market, has threatened to move to court after the cancellation of his tender.

Mr Muraguri, who had been contracted by the county government three years ago, said that his dismissal from the market was doubtful.

He noted that he was not formally informed of the decision claiming that the revenue board chief executive officer terminated his contract casually.

“I will have to seek legal redress and that is why I am consulting my lawyers so that the matter can be resolved in court,” he noted.

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