Kisumu activists protest cashless payment order
While Kisumu County under Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o scrapped all cash payments from July 1, gender-based activists claim victims of violence could be affected when seeking urgent medical treatment.
Rights activists in Kisumu are protesting the cashless payment system introduced by the county administration last week, saying it delays some emergency responses as Kakamega plans to follow suit. While Kisumu County under Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o scrapped all cash payments from July 1, gender-based activists claim victims of violence could be affected when seeking urgent medical treatment. Carren Kiarie Omanga, a paralegal at Nyabende Support Programme from Ahero, a community based-organisation, said the requirement could be a big setback to casualties of gender based violence who require urgent medical interventions.“The policy presents hurdles to emergency access of medication to organisations which deal in rescues and referrals on cases of sexual and gender based violence,” she said. According to the directive issued by the county government, it is illegal for staff to receive cash payments from customers for services delivered.
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These include parking fees, hospital bills, land rates, and trading licenses among others. In Kakamega, the county government has set a July 15 deadline to have the cashless revenue collection system fully operational.Treasury executive Geoffrey Omulayi said the committee coordinating implementation of the system was working on final touches of the plan to ensure there are no hitches during payment of bills.The team is working on the configuration of revenue streams in markets, hospitals, stalls and parking bays for allocation of pay bill numbers to facilitate payment of bills by clients. There are plans to install gadgets that will enable clients, including patients who do not own mobile phones, to make payments without any hitches. “The steering committee met Governor Wycliffe Oparanya today for a briefing on the progress of setting up the system and getting it working,” said Mr Omulayi on Thursday.