As the Kenya African National Union (KANU) commemorates its 63rd anniversary, party leader Gideon Moi voiced an urgent appeal for a comprehensive reassessment of the 2023 Finance Bill. Moi expressed concern that the proposed legislation will impose a harsh tax burden on Kenyan citizens already battling to stay financially afloat.
Mr. Moi, former Senator of Baringo, emphasized that while taxation is a critical tool for financing the country’s operating and developmental expenses, it cannot be the exclusive path to prosperity. “Many Kenyans today are barely scraping by. It is evident that prosperity cannot be solely achieved through taxation,” Moi asserted.
He further expressed the necessity for the Kenyan government to conduct an exhaustive public review of the Finance Bill currently being deliberated in the National Assembly. This, he insists, is to mitigate the detrimental impact of stringent tax clauses on the nation’s populace. “A thorough reassessment of the 2023 Finance Bill and robust public engagement are pivotal to lessen the toll of these taxing clauses, given their severe consequences for our people,” Moi added.
Moi also urged the nation’s policymakers to explore strategies to foster a conducive environment for direct foreign investment, thereby enhancing local manufacturing capabilities and job creation. This approach, he suggests, would integrate more Kenyans into the formal employment sector and reduce an overdependence on taxes.
Despite the decreasing political influence of KANU, Moi underscored its contribution to Kenya’s growth and development over the years. He also acknowledged past missteps, reflecting on the human capacity to err. “It’s important to remember that political parties are made up of people, and to err is simply human. We acknowledge those missteps and strive for continuous improvement,” stated Moi.
Under Moi’s leadership, KANU has been revitalized with new membership and fresh ideas, especially from the younger generation. He emphasized the importance of embracing emerging technologies, progressive policies, and innovative ideas to tackle the new wave of global challenges.
Public opinion on the Finance Bill has been mixed. Its proposals, including increased taxes on individuals earning over Sh500,000 and newly introduced taxes on content creators and beauty-related products, have stirred controversy. Azimio leader Raila Odinga has joined Moi in calling for a review of the Bill. However, President Ruto defended the legislation, asserting that broadening the tax base is essential for Kenya to fulfill its obligations.