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Mama Ngina Dares Ruto, Gachagua Over Tax Evasion Claims



Mama Ngina Dares Ruto, Gachagua Over Tax Evasion Claims

Mama Ngina accused a section of politicians of propagating lies so that Kenyans see that they are carrying out their mandate.

Former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, the mother of former President Uhuru Kenyatta, lashed out at President William Ruto’s government over claims that her family has been linked to tax evasion.

Speaking at the St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Mpeketoni, Lamu County on Saturday, February 4, Mama Ngina accused a section of politicians of propagating lies so that Kenyans see that they are carrying out their mandate.

Amidst the political furore that has been recently targeting her family for not paying taxes, Mama Ngina called for official government channels to be used in such matters and – if need be –  law courts, adding that public rallies have no place in matters of taxation.

“I hear some claims insinuating that some people don’t pay tax…I’m surprised because everyone is waking up to say this, another one that, but the government has its own agenda of how things work.

Former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta speaks during the opening of the Tewa Catholic Church in Mpeketoni, Lamu County, on February 4, 2023. /CITIZEN DIGITAL

“Matters regarding tax, income tax is a must, young or old, to pay depending on their capability and income. This is not something we should be discussing in the newspaper, in meetings or on TV because if you fail to pay taxes, you are taken to court and that is the law,” she addressed.

She further noted that failure to pay taxes warrants one’s property to be lost through auctioneers, further advocating for the reporting to authorities anyone found evading tax.

Mama Ngina went to the extent of daring the Kenya Kwanza administration to auction her property and sell it off to recoup any perceived debt if the claims surrounding her tax evasion turn out to be true.

“If you fail to pay what you are supposed to pay, it is a must for your belongings to be taken and auctioned. So there is no need to tarnish people’s names so that others see that you are doing work, you are driving the country forward, no. 

“A person should be reported so that he or she pays what is supposed to be paid. If it is me, even if I have failed to pay taxes for a year, take my property which will pay that tax. So there is no need of doing politics here and there…and people know they are not telling the truth, they want to say it so that they are heard calling names,” she added.

Although she did not mention names, Mama Ngina accused the Kenya Kwanza administration, of “deviating focus” from issues that Kenyans are grappling with.

Earlier this week, it emerged that former President Uhuru Kenyatta might be the next target in the push by President Ruto to have all Kenyans pay taxes mandatorily.

Speaking during the National Assembly Post Election Seminar in Mombasa County on Monday, January 30, Ruto decried that no Kenyan would be considered a special case enough to be exempted from remitting taxes.

According to him, the country cannot continue to function in such a way that the elite group and those in power have the tendency of avoiding paying taxes using their sinister means while those that are downtrodden are forced to pay taxes.

“We cannot continue to operate in a space where those in power exempt themselves from paying taxes using all manner of instruments while those who do not have as much power pay tax. The good people who are used to exempting themselves from paying the tax their day is up and every citizen must pay tax.

“It doesn’t matter even if they sponsor demonstrations so that they don’t pay tax, I want to promise them they will pay tax. No more exemptions, this country is not an animal farm where some are more equal than the others,” Ruto added.

On January 31, Uhuru responded to calls from the Kenya Kwanza government to have his family and former President Daniel arap Moi’s family pay taxes including land rates, stating that he was unbothered by the noise politicians were making concerning him and was minding his own business.

While reiterating the Head of State’s comments days later, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, in response to Uhuru, stated that he was not a special case and was required to pay tax like everyone else.

Adding that neither he nor President William Ruto had the power to exempt any individual from paying taxes, Gachagua offered Uhuru a way out from paying taxes, though it would entail buying “an advert in the newspaper and apply to the people of Kenya.”

Gachagua further invited the former Head of State for talks over a tax repayment plan, noting that he was aware of the huge amount of unpaid taxes owed by some individuals.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua speaking at the Shauri Moyo Affordable Housing Project in Kamukunji Constituency, Nairobi County on January 27, 2023. /FACEBOOK.RIGATHI GACHAGUA

“Make arrangements, and pay it and if you have a problem with what we are asking you to pay, we are open to discussion. Come, and we will agree on how you can pay in bits, say Ksh1 billion every month until you are done,” he stated.

Kenya Kwanza senators, led by John Methu (Nyandarua), had earlier this week, urged the National Assembly to investigate tax waivers enjoyed by the Kenyatta family during former President Uhuru’s tenure and also called for an audit of Uhuru’s wealth to establish whether the former First family dully paid its land rates.