By Godfrey Wamalwa
Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati has said 90% of the jobs will be owned by the residents of Bungoma County unlike in the past when the County government did more business with outsiders and left most of the local business fraternity in the cold.
Speaking to revenue collection officers and stakeholders at Mabanga Farmers Training center in Kanduyi constituency t, the Governor said that the County budget forum should be reconstituted to include all stakeholders who attended the workshop and called on all businessmen in the County to work with him and ensure the economy of the County moves forward this financial year.
He called on youths and women to apply for tenders that were advertised yesterday
to empower vulnerable groups that have been sidelined by the past regime.
“Tenders were advertised yesterday and youths should apply as we have told procurement people that cleaning services will be done by mamas and youths from their respective areas,” he added.
However the Governor called on those interested to work with the County government to wait for a forensic audit to ascertain if there is any ghost workers as well as find out skills assessment of workers in ministries before new employees are absorbed.
Wangamati reiterated his earlier stand to exempt taxes imposed on vegetable vendors by the end of October and small scale traders as well as boda boda riders who will also be exempted but will pay an annual KES 500 registration fee for identification purposes.
“The county assembly will pass a financial bill and they will be exempted from taxation,” said Wangamati.
Forensic audits are normally done to collect evidence for the purpose of investigating financial crimes such as theft and fraud and gather materials for the purpose of prosecution.
Wangamati said that the County government will be the first County in Kenya to establish an ICT center at Mabanga FTC to outsource jobs for the youth.
The national and county Governments have recognized the role of ICTs in the social and economic development of the nation and have promulgated an ICT Policy based on the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (2003-2007).
IT-led growth is creating jobs, raising productivity, increasing incomes and opening many opportunities for increased trade and human development. Extensive application of information technology now provides opportunities for new ways to create wealth thus contributing significantly to poverty alleviation.
Investing in I.T. in the county will facilitate sustained economic growth and poverty reduction by promoting social justice and equity, mainstream gender in county development, empower the youth and disadvantaged groups, stimulate investment and innovation in ICT and enable residents to achieve universal access to I.C.T.
The county government has planned to acquire 100 acres of land to establish an industrial park as a long term measure to create employment for youth along the Webuye-Malaba road popularly known as the great north road.