Role up your sleeves and fill up BBI kitty

What you need to know:

  • The BBI is alive and rumbling, and Mr. politician needs the money to power the engine.
  • There are a number of ways through which this money will be raised.
  • Do not be surprised by a raft of money minting policies that will emerge in due course. Some of these cash mills are already up and running.
  • Be warned. Be ready.

The government has decided to continue with BBI, which means someone (read us) has to pay for it. And how will we do so? Well, there’s already a new turnover tax that is being implemented, for small businesses that earn below Sh5 million a year – although at this point and in this economy, those guys must be rich. And it isn’t as if small businesses are making little enough as is, and scraping by on the taxes and permits they already have to pay. Another one is not too much, no?

Then, there are of course the passports that we’re currently applying for. The deadline was moved, even though no one thought that was going to happen, it was. Now there is a new deadline that they say will definitely not move. They have even talked to their diplomatic partners, asking them to stop accepting these other passports at visa applications. And these new passports will definitely cost you, the taxpayer who was perfectly okay with their old passport that is still valid for another eight years, a couple of thousands. I suppose you could put it down to keeping up with the times of e-passports, but if we’re being honest, no one in the Global North really cares about whether or not your passport is an e-passport, do they? They just care if you brought all your bank statements and you have proven without a shadow of a doubt that you will not be staying too long in their country.


But I digress. I’m sure the e-passport was very important outside of me being facetious. That said, how else can your government make more money from you so that we can pay back the Chinese? Well, there’s always a new railway line that won’t pay for itself with its fares, but claims it will. There’s also putting the fear of God in Kenyans (much like Huduma Namba – remember that guy?) and telling them that they absolutely have to get this new document or else… This year’s document is the driving license.

Oh, I’m sure the lines will be an absolute disaster at NTSA. Everyone and their mother will be lining up to pay that ridiculous Sh3,500 to get a new generation license (which, by the way, no one asked for. Again). Kindly note that this is exclusive of renewal fees for your passport – no sir, this is just a processing fee. Don’t forget to create your TIMS account before you get there, otherwise you’ll have wasted your good time.

Let’s pretend and say that at least one million people, on the conservative side, have driver’s licenses. That’s 3500 times one million people. That’s a lot of zeros, isn’t it? To the tune of a few billions. And you have to get this license before July – or else the government won’t accept your driving, and the cops, who will excitedly enforce something that makes them money, will punish your lack of foresight swiftly and mercilessly. Si mkubwa amesema?

I wonder what the government will tell us they’re choking us with next.

Twitter: @AbigailArunga