Kenyatta Toughens on Tax Collections

Individuals received awards for leading in paying tax with the Eastern Produce Kenya Ltd scooping the best Corporation Tax award

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged political leaders at all levels to avoid utterances that may undermine peace and cohesiveness in the country.

President Kenyatta said Kenyans should strive to build a better country at all times saying irresponsible talk will only cause irreparable damage to Kenya’s socio-economic fabric.

“While we must play our different roles, ampoule we must do so in a manner that promotes the unity and cohesiveness of our nation at all levels, story ” he said.

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The President spoke Wednesday at Nyayo National Stadium where he led the nation in commemorating the sixth Mashujaa Day.

The Head of State pointed out that the expanded and new freedoms granted to Kenyans by the Constitution should be exercised with responsibility.

“We must tread carefully for freedom places a huge requirement on every citizen to act responsibly, ” the President said.

He added: “I am saddened and dismayed that at times our actions suggest a people who have forgotten that with freedom come onerous responsibilities to fellow citizens and us.”

Kenyatta was apparently referring to the opposition which has in recent days held rallies to denounce government programmes.

In some instances, opposition figures have been faulted for using inflammatory speeches to incite violence among Kenyans.

The President said time had come for all Kenyans to carefully consider individual, institutional and collective responsibilities towards each other and the nation.

“Without understanding and appreciating our responsibilities, our expanded freedoms mean nothing. Indeed, they can easily become a recipe for the destruction of the future that we all so earnestly seek to build,” President Kenyatta said.

He reminded Kenyans of their obligation to secure the future of the nation by practicing the values that bind ‘us as a nation and which aspire for common good’.

On its part, President Kenyatta said, the Government has developed and adopted Sessional Paper No. 9 on National Cohesion and Integration whose implementation will help the country to address some of the challenges hindering national cohesion and integration.

He said the Government will also facilitate structuring of Elders’ Councils from the village to the national level to enable them promote national values and harmonious co-existence in their respective communities.

“My Government recognizes the key role played by community elders in alternative dispute resolution processes, youth mentorship and augmenting on conflict management within the diverse ethnic, religious and racial groups residing in the country,” the President said.

“As a country, we must look up to the values our forefathers espoused and finally delivered our country from the yoke of colonialism and domination,” said President Kenyatta.

The President called for a sober and honest reflection on the numerous challenges facing the country ranging from terrorism to crime affecting homes and neighbourhoods and how best they could be resolved.

The President inspecting a guard of honour at the stadium

The President inspecting a guard of honour at the stadium


“Terrorism and radicalization of our youth represents an existential threat to our young Nation. Ethnic and clan conflicts, continue to undermine peace and security,” he observed, adding that these challenges undermine national cohesion and integration.

“They are diverting vital resources that would otherwise be used to grow the economy and improve the lot of our fellow citizens,” he said.

The Head of State noted that such challenges are a threat to both individual and collective efforts as they erode the gains achieved so far.

He expressed satisfaction that his Government’s efforts in addressing them are bearing fruit and through domestic, regional and global engagements new economic opportunities are emerging for Kenyans and East African residents.

“My brothers and sisters, it is my Government’s sincere hope that we will spend more time seeking to leverage these opportunities and less on sterile activities that detract us from where we should be heading as a nation,” said President Kenyatta.

He urged all Kenyans to collectively confront vices that derail them from the path of progress and prosperity.

“We must deplore and reject negative traits in all their manifestations. Kenyans must cease the culture of tolerating each other and instead begin to celebrate one another united by a common bond of nationhood and sense of destiny,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the National Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Board to expedite vetting of KRA staff as the Government moves to boost tax collection.

He emphasized that concrete measures must be taken to enhance revenue mobilization by ensuring that all eligible taxpayers meet their tax obligation and corruption in tax collection is eradicated.

“Central to the achievement of this objective is the need to engender a culture that promotes excellence while firmly punishing acts of misconduct amongst staff involved in revenue collection, ed ” he said.

President Kenyatta spoke Wednesday at Kenyatta International Convention Centre when he presided over this year’s National Taxpayers’ Day.

During the occasion, look various companies and individuals received awards for leading in paying tax with the Eastern Produce Kenya Ltd scooping the best Corporation Tax award.

He applauded those who have been steadfast in paying their taxes, buy describing them as present day heroes and heroines who have chosen to be patriotic by supporting the country’s development agenda.

The President assured that the Government has embarked on ensuring sustenance of macroeconomic stability through low inflation, sustainable fiscal deficit, a stable currency exchange and affordable interest rates.

“My Government is addressing the challenges through expenditure rationalization and tax revenue mobilization initiatives both of which should help alleviate the pressure on domestic money market,” President Kenyatta said.

He said the country’s political freedom must go hand-in-hand with financial independence, which can only be guaranteed when all Kenyans commit to pay their taxes.

“Let us all commit to do our part in realizing the dream of economic independence,” he said.

Private sector

President Kenyatta observed that since coming into office, his Government has prioritized facilitation and engagement with the private sector to stimulate rapid economic growth.

He said reforms implemented by the Government have improved Kenya’s ranking in paying taxes from 146 in 2014 to 102 in 2015.

“This improvement is largely attributable to the introduction of electronic services which have enabled taxpayers to more conveniently handle their tax matters,” he said.

The President affirmed the Government’s commitment to ensuring more uptake of electronic services platforms by public institutions to lighten the burden for the public in accessing Government services.

He pointed out that automation of tax administration services –which has empowered Kenyans to transact tax affairs without the need to travel long distances – has also helped to improve public service delivery and Kenya’s attractiveness in respect of Doing Business Indicators.

“My Government will continue prioritizing service digitization with a view to making Kenya the preferred business hub in Africa,” he said, adding that there is no turning back in improving Kenya’s Doing Business Ranking to below position 50 in the next few years.

Curbing wastage

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich outlined measures his Ministry has taken to boost revenue collection including establishing a debt and audit programme which will help KRA increase revenue and curb wastage.

Measures to be instituted include reduction of leakages by reviewing the administration of customs and VAT collection. This will help KRA to rapidly identify and enforce debt collection.

Mr. Rotich said improvement on the auditing process will particularly target transfer pricing, construction of mega projects and tax compliance of large retailer and wholesalers.

He said the National Treasury will monitor – on a daily basis – revenue collection and daily clearance at the port of Mombasa.

Other speakers included KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini.


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