‘Leave Kenyatta family alone’ – Raila claims Ruto is politicizing tax debate

Written by on 6 February 2023

Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga has accused President William Ruto of politicizing the war on tax cheats in the country.

Speaking at Kamkunji Grounds in Kibra on Sunday, February 5, Raila said claims from a section of Kenya Kwanza leaders that families of retired presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Daniel Arap Moi are exempted from paying taxes are unfounded.

Raila explained that the Estate Duty Act which exempted the two families from paying “inheritance tax” was abolished in 1982.

The opposition chief said the law was abolished in 1982, exempting everyone from paying Estate Duty in Kenya.

“When Kenya attained independence in 1963 there was a succession law that exempted President Jomo Kenyatta from paying estate duty. When Kenyatta died Moi added his name in 1981 but other Kenyans were paying. But in 1982 parliament passed a law abolishing the law and exempted every Kenyan from paying the tax. Ruto and Gachagua don’t seem to understand the law,” Raila said.

At the same time, Raila called on the Kenya Kwanza administration to stop what he termed as harassment of Kenyatta’s family including former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, saying Ruto’s government is full of tax cheats.

“Tax cheats and all sorts of criminals are with Ruto in his government but he is pretending to be looking for criminals outside his government… You do not know where Kenya is from. She (Mama Ngina Kenyatta) was arrested and locked up in Kamiti during the struggle for independence. She is in her 80s, why are you insulting her yet she is the age of your grandmother?” Raila posed.

“Leave Mama Ngina Kenyatta alone, leave Uhuru alone,” Raila added amid cheers from the crowd.

He said the Head of State and his allies should stop interfering with the mandate of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

“Let KRA do its work. Do not politicise the work of the agency. Even in the Bible, Zachayo the Tax Collector was not doing the things you’re doing,” he stated, insisting that the opposition will continue resisting Kenya Kwanza’s policies for allegedly engaging in electoral fraud.

The sentiments were echoed by other Azimio leaders led by Raila’s running mate in the last presidential election Martha Karua and Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, who graced the event.

Ruto’s push to have all Kenyans pay taxes has received criticism from a section of the political class with some leaders accusing the Kenya Kwanza administration of targeting Kenyatta and Moi’s families.

Yesterday, Mama Ngina Kenyatta rubbished claims that the Kenyatta family has not been paying taxes.

Speaking at a church service in Lamu county, Mama Ngina castigated a section of the Kenya Kwanza leaders who she said have been belabouring the tax subject for their own political gain.

“I wonder when I hear some people say that others are not paying taxes. I wonder because people wake up and just say things disregarding the fact that the government has a way of running such matters.

“Paying taxes is a must for everyone regardless of their status in society. It’s not a matter to be talked about in the media or in political gatherings.

“There’s no need of maligning some people to prove that you are working,” she said.

She said the Kenyatta family has been paying taxes adding that she is ready to pay any taxes should it be found that she’s not paid any taxes.

“Even if it’s myself who’s not paid taxes even for one year, I’m ready to have my property sold to pay the taxes,” she added.

But Ruto on Sunday said he was happy his critics had agreed to pay their fair share of taxes irrespective of their social status.

He said the national “consensus” will go a long way in reducing the country’s debt burden.

“I am happy that as a country we have all agreed and built a consensus that irrespective of status, there’ll be no waiving of taxes for anyone… It is the best consensus we can have as a nation, and it is what will get us out of debt,” Ruto stated.

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