Ichungwah to Treasury: Give us names, details of Uhuru era firms, individuals enjoying tax relief

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwa, during a Thanksgiving service held at Koilel Primary School in Uasin Gishu County on October 09, 2022.

Photo credit: Jared Nataya | NMG

Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Kimani Ichung’wah has given National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof Njuguna Ndung’u 14 days to provide a record of tax reliefs, waivers or exemptions granted to individuals and entities by the Jubilee administration since January 2018 to date.

The move by Mr Ichung’wah, the Kikuyu MP, comes as debate over tax compliance rages on.

Also required in the two-page February 6, 2023 letter to the National Treasury CS is the tax incentives extended to foreign companies engaged by the government to undertake various capital projects during the period and the amount of tax the persons and entities were obligated to pay had the incentives not been granted.

Mr Ichung’wah, who spoke within parliament buildings noted that the request to the National Treasury will help establish whether some individuals in previous and current regimes may have abused their offices to grant themselves the incentives or collude with foreign contractors to evade paying taxes.

Mr Ichung’wah, said that the request to the National Treasury came after it emerged that not all the tax incentives granted by the Jubilee government had been communicated to the Office of the Auditor-General.

“This is to request for information on tax reliefs, exemptions or waivers granted by your ministry to an individual, company, firm or institution other than religious or faith based organizations, educational institutions or charitable organizations,” Mr Ichung’wah says in the letter.

Article 210 of the constitution provides that no tax or licensing fee may be imposed, waived or varied except as provided by the law.

It further provides that where the law allows the waiver of such tax or fee, a public record of the waiver and the reason for it should be kept and the same should be availed to the Auditor-General.

The laws that guide Mr Ichung’wah’s request include the East Africa Community Customs Management Act, Income Tax Act, Stamp Duty Act, Value Added Tax Act, Excise Duty Act and the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act.

Without mentioning names, President William Ruto and the entire Kenya Kwanza brigade that includes among others his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, in what has become as their thanksgiving meetings across the country, have warned individuals who have not paid their tax dues that they will have nowhere to hide.

However, their meetings and messaging have been interpreted as targeting the Kenyatta family with former first lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta coming out to defend her family and interests against the claims of tax evasion, a criminal offence.

The former first lady went to the extent of calling the government to investigate the matter of irregular tax exemptions and if her family and its interests are found guilty, she will have no problem having her property attached.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga and his troupes- Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Narc- Kenya’s Martha Karua among others- have also weighed in on the taxation debate telling President Ruto to stop targeting the Kenyatta family and instead focus on delivering what he promised Kenyans during the election campaigns.

But yesterday, My Ichung’wah said that no stone will be left unturned as the government moves to enhance tax collection to finance its operations as well as repay its foreign debts that currently stand at Sh8.7 trillion.

“You cannot use your offices to grant yourselves tax waivers because we know the capital projects that have abused these incentives.”

“The endgame in what I am requesting is to end the culture of impunity and the abuse of office witnessed before. People must pay taxes and we have no reason to target anybody but anyone who abused their offices,” said Mr Ichung’wah.

The Kikuyu MP wants Prof Ndung’u to include the statutory basis for the waiver of the tax on companies undertaking capital projects, a list of all individuals, companies or institutions granted the incentives, and the circumstances under which they were granted.  


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