Saturday, July 09, 2011

Sovereign State and Independence At Last

We salute and congratulate the people of South Sudan for becoming the newest state in the World and Africa. Welcome to the World Community of States. As we say in Kenya, independence was not given on silver platter. It has been a Long Road to Freedom. As you welcome and celebrate independence today, the very idea of your own sovereign state, national anthem and flag will fill your hearts with euphoria. At the same time your hearts will be filled with awe and admiration for those who shed their blood and suffered so much that you should be independent, not least the founding Father of the Nation, Dr John Garang.

All we can wish you is that your suffering as a nation may not be in vain. Although mountains of challenge lie ahead, your country is endowed with enormous natural resources and a determined people. Learn from the rest of Africa and do not repeat the same mistakes that our founding fathers and political leaders made. Cultivate unity and nationhood. Despise and avoid sectarianism, ethnic and regional favoritism, divisive ideologies and personal rivalry. Work as one nation for a prosperous South Sudan.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Can Kenyans Trust their Money to Non-Tax Paying MPs?

Parliament Building
Paying tax is a legal and moral obligation. The Constitution is very candid on this. Any 'Mipango ya Kando' (side agreements) are not binding as they contravene the Constitution. These agreements can be likened to the election pledges MPs give but forgotten once in Parliament. So no theatrics from the MPs will budge Kenyans demand that the Constitution be obeyed by all, including the MPs. The time you accepted to vote in favor of the Constitution, the honey moon ended. It is not business as usual anymore. You must pay tax.

If Wanjiku is taxed on her meager income, then who are these MPs who should have preferential treatment and not pay tax? Can Kenyans trust their money on the hands of non-tax paying MPs? This is the billion shilling question. How can MPs who do not pay tax be entrusted with the allocation of tax money paid by Kenyans? Something does not add up here. It is no wonder they have been hiking their salaries in a very irresponsible manner because they do not feel the pain of being taxed. Now that they are required to pay tax, they cry as if they are entitled to a lifestyle that is beyond the dream of ordinary Wanjiku.

Parliament in Session
I am amazed to read what they keep saying to justify their stubborn position of not paying taxes. They are behaving as if Kenya is still in the older constitutional order where they could hold the country at ransom. Never ever forget that the people have a lot of power under the new constitution that if the MPs misbehave as they threaten to do, they can be send packing as the Parliament is dissolved. Just dare not pass the necessary laws to implement the Constitution and Wanjiku's wrath will rain down on you with vengeance.

In 2006 this blog termed the hefty salary increments the MPs awarded themselves as an 'Act of Corruption'.  Today we repeat that not paying Taxes is an act of Corruption and is Illegal.