Kajiado poultry farmer Moses Parantai today threatened to surrender 3, 800 broilers to county government in protest over an alleged Sh5, 000 kick back at Isinya road.
A lorry ferrying Parantai’s chicken to a slaughter house in Ngoliba, Thika, was impounded by county government tax collectors at Isinya town at 3am who demanded that the farmer pays a transit tax of Sh20 per bird or part with Sh5, 000.
The farmer was required to pay a total of Sh76, 000 as is stipulated by the laws or alternatively give a ‘kickback’ of Sh5, 000 and his truck would have been let off.
But Parantai stood his ground and said he would do that over his dead body after arguing that that farmers have a standing dispute over the amount with the county government and therefore will never part with any money until the matter is resolved amicably.
He said the taxing by the county government was unrealistic for the farmers who inject a lot of money in to the business with less gains caused by poor infrastructure such as good roads and provision of water to the farmers.
“We struggle so much to make ends meet and we cannot accept bad laws that infringe on our businesses. Hardware businesses and petroleum dealers are charged single permits to operate in the county. Why are we being punished by this county?” asked the farmer.
He claimed that the county government raised cess fees for transporting the same truckload of chicken from Sh50 to Sh500, five years ago.
“When the county government introduced a levy of Sh20 per chicken for every transported bird, we as farmers refused and moved to negotiate with government,” said Parantai.
The farmer claimed after he refused to pay a Sh5, 000 ‘bribe’ to a county staff, his truckload of broilers was confiscated at Kitengela again town after being let go from Isinya where it was earlier held from 3am to 9am.
When we contacted the county executive committee member for agriculture, Moses ole Narok over the same said; “We are taking action on the same right away, and I will let you know.”
In a few minutes later Narok ordered the truck to be released to the farmer, and admitted that the county government is indeed having an outstanding issue with poultry farmers over taxation.
The minister promised to look in to the farmers’ standing issues before making any official statement over the same.