Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has declared war on Woman Rep Kawira Mwangaza over what he called political conmanship and maintained that she must pay taxes according to the law.
Last Friday, the Meru Revenue Board led by its manager, Dr John Ntoiti, raided Ms Mwangaza’s premises seeking the audience of her Baite TV manager Murega Baichu who is also the woman rep’s partner and spokesman.
Mr Ntoiti said the station owes the county Sh509,000 in unpaid business permit fees and other levies which have accrued since 2016, adding that several reminders had been ignored.
There was drama recently as Ms Mwangaza engaged the officers in a shouting match, claiming she had paid the taxes. A video of the woman rep screaming and shouting that Mr Murungi had raided her premises and harassed her has since gone viral on social media.
Speaking to journalists at the county headquarters on Monday, Mr Murungi said the woman rep had alleged he disrespected and harassed women, but the governor accused Ms Mwangaza of political and religious “conmaship”.
He said through her TV station, the woman rep had painted him as “a heartless dictator who is harassing a simple village woman of God” but stated that as a long standing human rights crusader, he respects all women.
“What we are dealing with is not a case of oppression of a simple village woman of God and the bishop of the poor. We are dealing with a ruthless, cunning, political hypocrite, a drama queen and master of deceit who is cynically manipulating the media, religion, and tears of the poor to whip up anger and bitterness against me,” Mr Murungi said.
“No amount of lies, intimidation or theatrics will exempt Baite TV from paying its taxes to the county government,” the governor added.
VIE FOR GOVERNOR
Ms Mwanngaza has declared that she will vie for the governor’s seat in 2022 and sustained attacks on Mr Murungi’s administration, claiming she is being targeted due to her political stand.
But Dr Ntoiti said they are not after the woman rep but taxes, and maintained that his officers will stage another raid after a week and impound the station’s equipment if the management will not have paid the taxes.
Besides business permits, Dr Ntoiti said levies for vehicle branding, land rates and sign boards have not been paid for four years.
“We will not be intimidated and wevwill go back there and impound that equipment until all taxes are paid. The law demands that levies are paid by anybody operating a business and she is not an exception,” he said.
But Ms Mwangaza maintained she has paid all the taxes and accused Mr Murungi’s administration of harassing her due to the demand for accountability through TV programmes.