Embu county seeks to waive tax for witch doctors, sorcerers
Witch doctors and sorcerers could soon operate freely in Embu County if a proposal by the County Assembly to waive license fee for traditional healers is adopted.
The proposal, in its second reading and contained in the County Finance Bill 2016, aims to expunge a tax provision for the traditional health services, herbalists, and divine healers.
Muminji MCA Newton Kariuki said witchcraft and sorcery has been a source of living for some old people in the area and therefore taxing them would affect their livelihood.
He said sorcery is big business in Embu as prominent politicians, businessmen and high ranking members of society flock to witch doctors especially as general elections draw near.
Nominated MCA Rosemary Muturi, however, noted that waiving the tax would lead to uncontrolled mushrooming of witchcraft dens across the county and make Embu Kenya’s capital of black magic.
She predicted that advertisements for sorcery and witchcraft services would litter the county if the business was left unregulated.
The Assembly was debating on a waiver on a proposed Sh5, 000 annual tax on anyone wishing to start witchcraft, divining, astrology, sorcery or rain-making business.
Finance Committee Chairman Kanjogu Mugo said there was a unanimous decision to scrap the witchcraft tax because it was not easy to collect such monies due to the mysterious nature of the operators.
He also said the committee had agreed to subsidize charges for other medical services such as male circumcision and treatment of rape victims at public hospitals.
The Kyeni North MCA said male circumcision in public hospitals had been revised to Sh500 from a proposed Sh1, 500, while rape victims would pay Sh2, 000 as opposed to the earlier Sh4, 000.
Kanjogu further revealed that snakebite victims would be treated at public hospitals for free, while patients suffering from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer would also be considered for subsidized medical care.