President William Ruto said Monday that Kenyan will be exempted from paying their fair share of taxes, amid a standoff with the opposition.
Speaking in Mombasa, where he presided over the National Assembly’s Post-Election Seminar 2023 in collaboration with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Ruto said Kenya is not an animal farm where some animals are more equal than others.
Without naming names, Ruto claimed that the ongoing demonstrations, the majority of which have decried the rising cost of living and an increasing tax burden were being sponsored by tax evaders.
“Even if they sponsor demonstrations so that they do not pay tax, I want to promise them that they will pay tax, there are no more exemptions,” he said.
“This country is not the animal farm where some are more equal than others, we are going to have a society where every citizen carries their fair share of our burden to raise our taxes.”
He said no one would be taxed in excess of the law or face additional taxes.
“I’m not talking about additional taxes, I’m talking about taxes that have been agreed upon by parliament and signed into law,” he added.
“The good people who are used to exempting themselves from paying tax. Their day is up, every citizen must lay the tax. Even if they sponsor demonstrations so that they don’t pay tax, I want to assure them, they must pay tax.”
On Sunday, Azimio leader Raila Odinga likened the current government to the biblical tax collector Zacchaeus, known for his unethical and exploitative practices.
During the rally, Odinga urged Kenyans to resist paying taxes, claiming that they were “punitive” and unjust.
Odinga accused the UDA-led administration of rigging the 2022 elections.
On Sunday, Odinga informed hundreds of his supporters that he will hold nationwide rallies to oppose President Ruto’s administration.
Azimio protests will begin in Machakos, Nakuru, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, and Mombasa before moving to Kiambu, Garissa, Isiolo, Turkana, and culminating in Nairobi.
“This is not about me, it is about the youth, women, children, disabled and the old,” he said.
“Kenyans must be able to go to an election, the ballots must be counted and results announced as per results counted.”