MOMBASA, Kenya, Feb 2 – Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said the government will make sure everyone pays tax as required by existing laws.
Speaking in Mombasa Thursday when he closed a Senators’ Post-Election Seminar at Serena Beach Hotel, Mombasa, the DP said there would be no exemptions in tax collection.
“Everyone must pay tax. It does not matter who you are. We want to ensure that we develop the country with our own resources,” he said.
Gachagua said the country’s resources had been depleted and it could only be replenished through exhaustive collection of taxes.
“If you are in hole, the natural thing to do is stop digging. Our economy has been ailing and one way to cure it is collecting tax from everybody. Nobody will be exempted,” he added.
The DP said they would not be intimidated by tax evaders saying their intention was to ensure they have adequate resources for development projects across the country.
“We will not be intimidated because we have a responsibility to discharge for the benefit of our nation,” the DP said.
The government targets collecting Sh3 trillion annually so it could finance adequately development projects after covering recurrent expenditure.
Gachagua urged those who haven’t been paying to consider working with the government to develop a payment plan.
The DP also challenged senators to continue polishing their relationship with counterparts in the National Assembly saying it was necessary for the consultative nature of leadership.
“The Senate and National Assembly must seek a good working relationship. The leaders in Parliament should pursue a seamless working relationship for the benefit of our people,” he said.
He also asked them to perform their devolution oversight roles without blinking saying resources to the counties must be spent as required by the law.
“I encourage the Senate to propose amendments to various pieces of legislation to compel regular and output-driven performance from county governments,” he said.
The Deputy President also said the government is committed to unbundling remaining county functions and subsequent allocation of resources to go with them.