They came out in public and attracted a lot of media coverage when they stood out from the rest of the herd of the peoples’ representatives and walked to the KRA to pay their taxes. Kangundo MP Johnstone Muthama was the first legislator to pay up, shortly followed by Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth who is also, of course, a presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections.
Makadara MP Mike Mbuvi, popularly known as Sonko, Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu and Mutava Musyimi also followed suit, as did the Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who remitted their tax arrears to the Revenue Authority in Times Towers.
However, reports coming from KRA reveal that a number of MPs who publicly volunteered to pay taxes are now demanding a not-so-public refund from the taxman citing double taxation as the basis for their claim.
Kenyan MPs have been adamant in their refusal to pay taxes arguing that they already paid taxes amounting to Sh53, 000 each month on their basic salaries, which stand at Sh200, 000, an act that has been condemned as selfish by Churches, NGOs, the International Commission of Jurists and the workers’ umbrella organization COTU.
PRESIDENT, PM AND VP – NO REFUND
To be fair, according to the story published in The Standard last Thursday (January 17), the President, the Prime Minister and the Vice President have not requested a refund. MP Johnstone Muthama is also said to be the only MP who responded to media queries on the subject stating that he wasn’t interested in a refund. “I do not want a refund of any money. Parliament paid for me but the taxman can have both to collect more taxes.” Muthama said.
For all the other MPs trying to claw back their taxes it seems that the gesture they made in paying them in the first place, an act that scores of Kenyans found impressive, was all a public relations act!