KIAMBU MEAT TRADERS CHALLENGE NEW PERMITS RATES.

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KORIR
High Court Judge Weldon Korir who directed the traders to serve the Kiambu County Government with the court papers then appear before him Wednesday.

BY SAM ALFAN.
Meat traders in Kiambu has challenged the county’s new finance laws following a standoff with the local government that has threatened to spur a meat shortage in Nairobi and Kiambu.
The petition filed in High court by 20 slaughter house owners, the traders claim that they were not given a fair hearing prior to the implementation of the Finance Act of 2014 which they claim has increased the cost of some permits by over 300 per cent.
The standoff has led the County Government withdraw its inspectors from abattoirs that have not complied with the new charges, forcing traders to store meat in cold rooms as they cannot sell meat without approval from the county.
Among the provisions they have challenged include slaughter house licences which range between Sh2, 000 and Sh6, 000.
The cess fee for a goat is now Sh80 up from Sh50. Traders who take their animals to the market are charged a landing fee Sh500 and Sh200 for a cow and goat respectively.
“The said legislation made blanket increments in the fees payable by traders without participation of the traders. Owing to the withdrawal of inspectors at our slaughter houses, we have resorted to storing the meat in cold rooms which do not have capacity for large volumes of meat,” the traders said.
Justice Weldon Korir directed the traders to serve the Kiambu County Government with the court papers then appear before him on Wednesday to determine whether the laws should be suspended until the case is determined.
Traders last week staged a strike in a bid to oppose the new charges, a move that saw Kiambu and Nairobi hit with a meat shortage over the weekend.
The abattoirs claim that they have since January 5 incurred extra costs owing to the use of cold rooms to store meat, and that they have been unable to slaughter animals. Their premises, they added, do not have enough room to graze the animals.
Dagoretti Slaughter House director George Mureu reckons that he and other traders are not opposed to being levied but want the current rates lowered as he claims they are significantly higher than those in other counties.
“We are willing and intend to continue paying the old fees until the issue of arbitrary increments is resolved. We and the small and micro enterprises are fearful that we shall be driven out of business due to inability to pay the fees,” Mureu said.
They accused area Ward Representative Binary Wainaina of sanctioning the increment. He said the veterinary inspection fee for a goat was Sh50 and increased to Sh100 with a cow being charged Sh100 up from Sh150.
The cess fee for a goat is now Sh80 up from Sh50. Traders who take their animals to the market are charged a landing fee Sh500 and Sh200 for a cow and goat respectively.
The standoff continues pending further court directions over the matter.

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