Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is that type of man who wouldn’t just go down without putting in a fight.
Sonko has dragged Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja into his mess with damning revelations
According to Sonko, a company associated with Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has been implicated in a tax evasion syndicate at City Hall.
Appearing before the Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee to answer to audit queries, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko alleged that Sakaja’s company had denied the county government revenue for failing to pay levies and expense.
Sonko claimed Seven Star Media Ltd, which is co-owned by Senator Sakaja, Sportpesa chief executive Ronald Karauri and James Ojwang had been erecting streets poles and billboards in various parts of the city but had refused to remit the compulsory levies to City Hall.
In particular, he said the company has been destroying the environment by cutting trees and erecting commercial adverts.
“Senator Sakaja has been doing business with Nairobi City County, acting with impunity and has refused to pay revenue,” Sonko told the committee chaired by Senator Moses Kajwang’ (Homa Bay).
According to the governor, Sakaja’s establishment owes City Hall Sh40 million in levies and revenue.
He was speaking during the summons to answer to audit queries for the financial year 2017/18 in which the Auditor General has cited a drop of Sh7.5 billion in collection of revenue since he took office in August 2017.
However, the explanation did not satisfy senators how failure by a company contributed to deficit of Sh7.5 billion of revenue.
“Bwana Governor, if this is not malice, how does a debit of Sh40 million contribute to the Sh7.5 billion deficit of own collected revenue? Kajwang asked.
In his report, Auditor General Edward Ouko disclosed that while the county government projected to collect Sh17,229,760 during the year under review, it managed to collect only Sh10,157,594,130.
Sonko attributed the failure to an interplay of multiple factors including prolonged electioneering period, slowdown in economic activity, transitional challenges, legal gaps in existing revenue collection legislation and high default rates among payers including government entitles.