Speaking at the Mashujaa Day celebrations, President Kenyatta said that traders who hike prices especially of farm inputs as well as produce are criminals and will be dealt with firmly.
“Those unscrupulous traders who hike prices, especially of farm inputs as well as produce, under the pretext of VAT are criminals and will be dealt with as such. I direct the relevant government agencies to remain vigilant against such mischief at all times,” he said.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) launched a countrywide crackdown on unscrupulous traders who have adjusted commodity prices in the pretext of charging VAT on goods which are tax exempt.
The crackdown is to ensure those who increase prices do so in accordance with the law and protect consumers from unscrupulous traders.
Those arrested risk a fine of up to Sh1 million and/or three years imprisonment.
President Kenyatta explained that his government is doing everything it can to make the cost of living bearable for Kenyans.
“As my government executes the Second Medium Term Plan of Vision 2030, we are also doing everything we can in the short term that the cost of living is bearable to all Kenyans,” he said.
He says the government will ensure that undue barriers to affordability of basic commodities are eliminated.
He says the government has put in place incentives to ensure that producers make Kenya food-secure in the shortest time.
“We must also grow our economy and develop all parts of the country with the objective of securing a better life and more happiness for all our people,” President Kenyatta added.
The Head of State saluted the sacrifice and heroism of many Kenyans whose vision and conviction won the country freedom and sovereignty.
“Colonialism had stripped all Kenyans of their fundamental rights. They had no land, and were considered inferior in their own home. There was neither dignity nor freedom for Kenyans then,” the President said.
He added: “Our forefathers waged a struggle of conviction and principle, supported with no resources except the burning fire of humiliation and the indefeasible yearning for independence and respect.”
During the occasion, the President launched the Kenya@50 Celebration Calendar, starting off activities lined up to mark the country’s 50 years of independence.