NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – A key ally of suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto has opposed a plot to censure principals in the coalition government over the renewed push to have MPs pay taxes.
Dujis MP Aden Duale said on Thursday that he did not support a plot to paralyse government operations by blocking the passage of the Finance Bill, a move that would deny the government access funds for its operations.
"I will oppose any move to censure the Prime Minister, the President or the Vice President; the PM is within his rights to pay tax and nobody should intimidate him. Taxation is a personal issue you cannot use mob justice to fight a constitutional provision."
"Any move even to block the Finance Bill, you can count on Duale to oppose it" he added.
He said that the issue of taxation was a personal matter that one should not be punished for, adding that he has directed the Clerk of the National Assembly to deduct the required taxes from emoluments.
"Every MP will abide by the Constitution and will have to go and pay tax; let\’s not hide behind parliamentary privileges," he said.
At the same time, Nairobi Metropolitan Development Minister Njeru Githae urged his colleagues in Parliament to pay taxes as directed by the Kenya Revenue Authority.
Mr Githae said payment of taxes was mandatory to every Kenyan as underlined in the new Constitution and that no one ought to be excluded.
He further said that there was no need to ridicule the Principals for paying their taxes since they were just doing what was stipulated in the new Constitution as far as tax payment is concerned.
A group of MPs plans to strip President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka off their hefty retirements perks in protest against a law compelling them to pay taxes.
They also vowed to campaign for cancellation of allowances paid to spouses of Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka.
They want to punish the two leaders for complying with a directive by the Kenya Revenue Authority that all MPs pay full taxes on salaries and allowances backdated to last September.
The MPs also plan to frustrate passage of laws for implementation of the Constitution; and shoot down the Finance Bill when the House resumes in two weeks time.
The MPs, who are at in Mombasa for a workshop on the draft national population policy, were also seeking to placate public anger by passing a law that will exempt those who earn Sh30,000 a month and below from paying taxes.
Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende maintained that MPs had been assured by the government that they would not pay increased taxes for the remainder of the current term.
In a statement issued in Mombasa, Mr Marende said that MPs were ready to pay full tax on their income if taxation laws were amended.
Follow the author at https://twitter.com/Lwanambisi