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Tuesday, April 6, 2021 – Here’s what Pauline Njoroge posted on her Facebook page and caused a lot of reactions after supporting the over-taxation of Kenyans by the current regime.
I know we all pay VAT when we purchase goods. But that money is barely enough to run government and all the services we would like delivered to us as citizens.
In this country, we only have 2.5 million registered taxpayers on iTax, out of approximately 19 million registered voters. This means that less than 15% of registered voters pay income tax but even among these, there are those who file nil.
We are talking of a situation where over 85 % of the registered voters do not pay direct tax.
We have not even touched on businesses which should register on iTax as legal entities and pay tax as well, but they keep playing with the books. We also have a big informal sector, whose players don’t meet their tax obligations.
YET, we all enjoy and demand that the government provides:
Cheaper electricity connection through the last mile project
A wide road network across the country (Kenya is like a construction site)
Development of our ports to modernize them and increase capacity
Development and revamping of railways network
Construction of new hospitals
Free public primary school education, free day secondary school education, capitation for every child in public secondary school…
I could go on and on. But my question is, where exactly do we imagine this money comes from?
I know you will say loans get stolen. And yes, since the 90s our Corruption Perception Index hasn’t been good.
Luckily for us, we happen to have a dynamic and free media that closely follows on corruption and misappropriation of resources, and reports promptly.
From the days of Goldenberg, to Angloleasing and most recently Arror and Kimwarer dam scandal.
In this regard, let us look at the current financial year (July 2020 to now). How major corruption scandals have been reported and how much was lost in them, compared to the loans we have received during that same period?
Actually, since Kimwarer and Arror, have we had any other incident where billions have been lost to complete air delivery?
Meanwhile, I remember with the dam scandals we gladly sang #MyThiefMyChoice.
All in all, we have to decide what we want as a people because we cannot have our cake and eat it. We cannot demand for services, and at the same time evade taxes, while saying the government should not take loans.
But I am certain people who do not pay direct tax yet they can will be the first to dismiss this post kwa sababu itawakera.
The Kenyan DAILY POST