NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 4 – Kenya has pledged to help Somalia levy taxes on importations to that country to generate income for rebuilding the war torn nation.
Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula said exports from Kenya which enter Somalia through Mombasa and Wilson airports as well as Wajir airstrip will have to be taxed and proceeds surrendered to Somalia.
At a press conference on Friday, Mr Wetangula announced that the Kenya Revenue Authority was finalising modalities to incorporate officials from Somalia in tax collection.
“We have signed an agreement on this. It is only the final modalities that are being worked on. The Somalia government wants us to assist them levy taxes and we have agreed. We have no problem with that because once the taxes are collected, Somalia can be in a position to pay their police to secure the border,” he said.
“The idea is that, taxes on all the exports from Kenya through the main entries into Somalia will have to be levied before they leave Kenya,” he said and added that Kenya was not the only country doing that.
Mr Wetangula said the initiative was part of several other measures the Kenyan government was putting in place to help Somalia accumulate revenue to rebuild itself.
“This is a request by Somalia because of the nature of that country as currently constituted, that all the exports from Kenya like Miraa are taxed and this is done by warlords who use the money to further their criminal activities,” he said.
“There are warlords there who control border points, they collect revenue and this does not go to the government. That is why we signed a protocol to that effect,” he added.
He said the Somali government would be required to bring in their officers who work together with the Kenyan officials to collect the revenue.
“I am told and I don’t know if it is true that miraa alone, for example, fetches up to $100,000 daily, revenue that they so much need to hire the police, secure the borders, and do many other things for their country,” he said.