By KETRA KALUNGA
COUNCILS are pressurising Government to hand over collection of toll fees to them because they believe it is their constitutional man-date which Central government has hijacked.
The Local government Association (LGA) confirmed that discussions with the government to allow local authorities to collect revenue from toll gates for the maintenance of roads in their respective areas were underway.
LGA spokesperson, Maurice Mbolela said the matter was under serious negotiations and the local authorities were pushing to regain their ‘rightful’ mandate.
Mr. Mbolela said in an interview with the Daily Nation that the association was still negotiating with the government on the matter through the ministry of local government and other relevant authorities.
“Discussions are still going on, the matter is still very active and we are still negotiating with the government on this issue, councils feel that they should collect toll fees,” he said.
The LGA spokesperson said, “If at all the tolls on the main road can go to the government what about the local government in order for them to maintain the roads, where do they start collecting from”.
And Mr. Mbolela said the councils are appealing to the government to adjust upward the commission that they are getting from the road tax collected on behalf of the road transport and safety agency (RTSA).
Mr. Mbolela said the four percent was too insignificant compared to the cost of collection by the local authorities as agents.
He said the councils are not at all trying to make the collection of road tax expensive but to ensure that it was not done at a loss
“Councils are appointed as agents to collect road tax on behalf of RTSA and now the issue is the commission that councils are getting, the 4% is insignificant compared to the cost of collection, again we feel that the 4% has to be reviewed upwards,” he said.
By KETRA KALUNGA