I think I speak for the majority of Kenyans when I say we are tired of the debate on whether MPs should pay taxes or not.
To us, the payment thereof is a non-issue and from our understanding of the Constitution of Kenya, which is the true and final stand on all legislative matters, no one individual is to be exempt from the payment of taxes.
In fact, because we understand that this requirement could have caught many of our Honourable MPs by surprise, what we should be discussing are the payment terms. This is the most indulgence that we are willing to ask the Kenya Revenue Authority to accord them.
In reality, one of the prime mandates for our MPs is to determine how government revenue, inclusive of taxes, is collected and utilised. It is therefore unacceptable that they should want to forsake that particular obligation because it doesn’t serve their short term self interests.
The fact that they agreed to be cajoled and to overlook the specifics of the Constitution should then not become a burden to be borne collectively by Wanjiku. Let every Kenyan carry their own cross in as far as meeting Caesar’s obligations so that we can be able to run our government.
We are also perturbed by the negative turn of events stemming from some members of the August house. Any threats to censor the principals or other MPs who advocate for the payment of taxes will not augur well with the Kenyan populace.
I am of the opinion that such censorship would only become the blood that leads to martyrdom providing a cause for these victims during the 2012 elections. In as much as I’d like that to happen, I would also prefer that Kenyans focused on other fundamental issues this time around.
Finally, I must comment on the statement issued by the Honourable Speaker.
From my limited understanding of the law, I wish to differ firmly with the speaker’s interpretation. I wish to remind him that all commitments that were made antecedent to the passing of the Constitution are now water under the bridge.
As the public we always expect and assume that our Members of Parliament will have read and fully understood the contents of draft laws that they endorse. Ignorance is never an excuse in a court of law.
With the all the respect due to him, I wish to emphasise our expectations that he will give clear and wholesome guidance to our Members of Parliament.
My desire is that all of them would aspire to serve Kenyans and that their works would be a powerful legacy providing an example for future generations.
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