President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday urged Kenyans to pay tax so that the country can prosper.
Speaking during in Karen during Christ is the Answer Ministries (CITAM) 60 years celebrations, the president likened himself to Caesar, saying that every Kenyan must pay tax.
“Uhuru as the capacity of Caesar, so long as people are going to be doing that Caesar must get his fair share,” he said.
The president was quoting the book of Matthew 22:21 Jesus said “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”
He wondered why he should only target a few people yet the law is there and God did not make a mistake when he put us the way he put us.
“We need every coin we can get,” he added.
His remarks come as the State mounts a vicious crackdown on companies accuse on failing to pay taxes which has seen owners arrested and others denied licences to operate in Kenya.
This week saw the arrest of Keroche Chief Executive Officer Tabitha Karanja and her husband Joseph Karanja who were later arraigned in a Nairobi court where they pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of tax evasion relating to Sh14.45 billion that the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji claimed their firm failed to remit to the taxman.
Last week, billionaire businessman Humphrey Kariuki was also charged with tax evasion amounting to Sh41 billion. In an unprecedented move, detectives closed Kariuki’s firm, African Spirits, as they moved in to freeze his bank accounts.
The Kenya Revenue Authority last week disclosed that it will prosecute 600 individuals this year for tax evasion related cases.
The Authority revealed that it prosecuted 222 individuals last year but the figure will go up in 2019 in a step that is also targeting to help the taxman boost its revenue collection.
The measures are part of KRA plans to boost its revenue collection which it reported at Sh1.58 trillion against the National Treasury target of Sh1.8 trillion in the financial year 2018/19.