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Nairobi National Park revenue up by 566.67% despite tourist complaints

DP Gachagua: KWS was collecting Sh1.2 million in one week, we collected Sh8 million this past weekend alone

Tourists waiting to enter Nairobi National Park

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said that the government’s automation of revenue collection through the eCitizen platform has been successful.

Speaking during an interview on Sunday evening, September 10, Gachagua highlighted the improved revenue collection at the Nairobi National Park.

He said that over the past weekend along, Kenya Wildlife Service which manages the park collected Sh8 million, up from the usual collection of Sh1.2 million for a whole week.

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He accused some people of enriching themselves through past revenue collection loopholes.

“There was a lot of pushback after the president’s directive. The Nairobi National Park under KWS was collecting Sh1.2 million per week. When the president ordered the use of technology to collect revenue, we collected Sh8 million in one weekend,” he said.

Gachagua said that corrupt government officers were taking home the extra revenue instead of remitting it to the government.

“The money was being taken by men and women. That is why were are saying that those who plunder public resources have only three options,” the deputy president stated.

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He added that streamlining of revenue collection would help the government fund development projects across the country.

This comes after long queues were reported at Nairobi National Park, with tourists being made to wait for hours to access the park.

Videos shared on social media showed traffic snarl-up at the main entrance of the park, with many tourists expressing frustration over the delays.

“For many the most tangible consequence of the Ruto administration has been a huge rise in red tape. It is simply much harder to get things done that were once easy. For example, this is the queue to get into Nairobi National Park this morning. We have queued for nearly an hour,” said Adrian Blomfield a journalist for The Economist.

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He said that every tourist was being registered on eCitizen and payments had to be made through the platform. He decried that the system was slow, laborious and had trouble navigating.

“It is only in Kenya where technology takes you backwards. Some friends who wanted to go for an early morning Sunday game drive have instead decided to go to Kitengela for Nyama Choma. Reason? Long queue at the park entrance! What is wrong with Kenya?” economics expert Mohamed Wehliye said.

Many Kenyans advised that the government should ensure that the payment processes are seamless so that technology doesn’t complicate the process and in the end drive people away from the park.

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