More pressure for Kenyan MPs to pay tax

June 17, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – Failure by Kenyan Members of Parliament (MPs) to pay tax on their earnings has not only angered Kenyans but legislators from other African countries.

Uganda’s Kakuuto County MP Kasamba Mathias told Capital News that their Kenyan counterparts should pay tax since it is part of legislations they make.

“Obviously they should be paying tax because that is one of the corporate responsibilities for people in government to pay tax. We make laws to tax people and part of anybody’s disposable income is taxed,” he said.

Mr Mathias said Ugandan MPs paid tax on their salaries and allowances just like the rest of the Ugandan citizens.

“We pay tax like Pay As You Earn, which is 30 percent of our salaries,” he said.

Kenyan MPs pay tax only on Sh250, 000 which is their basic pay but their allowances which totals to about Sh600, 000 goes untaxed.

Last year they removed a clause in the Finance Bill which was seeking to tax them.

Zambian MP (Northern Province) Alfreda Mwamba was also shocked that there are people who don’t pay tax in Kenya.

She urged her Kenyan counterparts to change the law and make it universal for all working Kenyans to pay tax.

“In Zambia, we pay tax just like any other Zambian citizen. Laws should not be made to exempt a few people. Kenyan MPs need to change tax to make it equal for all citizens,” she said.

Tanzanian MP (Mwanza) Dr Raphael Chegeni also said MPs in his country paid tax on allowances and salaries.

Kenyan MPs have argued that the salary of close to Sh1 million is very little compared to the amount of work they do.

They have excused their huge perks saying they are paying for mortgages and that they also have to give handouts in their constituencies.

However, Kenyans have argued that they should come up with projects to create jobs for their constituents and support them to sustain themselves instead of depending on handouts which are sometimes as low as Sh50.


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