Former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta has spoken out against what she termed the politicization of tax matters.
In rare remarks reacting to the recent political furor accusing her family of not paying taxes, Mama Ngina said politicians were peddling lies so that they can be seen to be working.
She said tax matters can be addressed through government channels and – if need be – law courts.
She said public rallies have no place in matters of taxation.
It was the first time that she makes such a strong statement indicating the seriousness of the same.
The former First Lady spoke on Saturday while addressing members of the public during the opening of the Tewa Catholic Church which she helped build in Mpeketoni, Lamu County.
“I hear some claim some people don’t pay their taxes. I wonder because their claims are baseless. The government has a way of running its affairs,” she said.
“Mambo ya kodi, income tax ni lazima, mkubwa au mdogo, kulipa kulingana na uwezo wake na mapato yake. Hiyo si mambo ya kuzungumza katika magazeti, kwa mikutano, ama TV. Kwa sababu ukikosa kulipa kodi unapelekwa kortini, hiyo ndio sheria.”
Mama Ngina went ahead to dare the government to auction her property and belongings in order to settle any perceived debt if it is indeed true that she has not been paying her taxes.
“Ukikosa kulipa ile unatakiwa kulipa, lazima vitu vyako vitachukuliwa na kuuzwa. Kwa hivyo hakuna haja…hakuna mambo ya kuwaharibia wengine majina ndio watu wasikike eti wanafanya kazi, wanaendesha nchi, hapana,” she added.
“Mtu ashtakiwe alipe ile kitu anatakiwa kulipa. Na kama ni mimi, ata nikiwa na mwaka mmoja nimekosea bila kulipa, mali ichukuliwe ilipe ile tax. Kwa hivyo hakuna haja ya kufanya siasa hivi na vile…na watu wanajua hawasemi ukweli, wanataka tu kusema ndio wasikike eti wanataja majina.”
This was in reaction to claims by government officials led by president William Ruto that the former first family does not want or had not paid their taxes.
The family has denied the claims.
Many believe this is a political ploy by the government to divert Kenyan attention from real issues affecting them.
These include unmet promises that were made.