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Njugush calls for government accountability in taxing Kenyans – EXCLUSIVE

Renowned comedian Njugush, real name Timothy Kimani, has been vocal in his criticism of the government’s taxation policies, especially those that affect Kenyan citizens.

In 2023, Njugush voiced his disapproval of the government’s proposal to impose a 15% tax on content creators, highlighting the financial burden it would place on individuals in the creative industry.

In addition, Njugush raised concerns about the housing levy outlined in the proposed Finance Bill 2023.

He stressed the importance of the government considering public opinion on such proposals, arguing that building affordable housing should not be prioritised over other pressing national issues.

“Building affordable houses is a laudable initiative, but there are critical aspects that need clarification,” Njugush said.

Initially, the government proposed a 3% contribution from all employees to the housing fund, which was later revised to 1.5%. Employers would match this contribution for each employee.

In a recent interview with the Nairobi News, Njugush clarified that his criticisms were not aimed at specific individuals, but rather at advocating for the welfare of the Kenyan people.

“The president does not have time to question my opinion about the government and why I say what I say. Just as we have an opposition, as creatives we should stand up for our people,” explained Njugush.

When asked what he would like to see the government do, Njugush stressed the need to tackle corruption and said that transparency in the use of taxes would allay the public’s concerns.

“What I want the government to do is to tackle corruption. It is not that Kenyans do not like paying taxes; they are just concerned about where the money goes. If corruption was tackled in Kenya, paying taxes would not be an issue,” he said.

Highlighting the potential impact of effectively using tax revenues to improve health and education services, Njugush stressed the importance of accountability and public trust in government institutions.

“You will be happy to pay taxes if you are sure that when you go to the hospital, you will not have to pay for treatment and if that money can be used to improve the quality of our public schools.”

On May 13, President Ruto said he intends to raise the country’s average tax rate from 14 percent to 16 percent by the end of 2024 and is targeting between 20 and 22 percent by the end of his term.

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