Joho Launches Bid to Take Over ODM Party; KRA Seeks Data Protection Waiver to Spy on Tax Cheats & Linturi Off the Hook as Committee Members Vote to Save Him

Good morning,

Kenyans will have to tighten their belts even more if the Kenya Kwanza government’s Finance Bill 2024 which proposes increases in excise duties on various goods and services will be approved.

The controversial bill has proposed a raft of measures geared towards broadening the tax base and raising the revenue to meet the Government plans in the next financial year 2024/2025.

Among the proposed areas that have elicited mixed reactions is the 16% VAT on bread, with 400g loaf set to rise by at least Ksh10 under the new law.

The National Treasury also recommends raising the excise duty on telephone and internet data services from 15% to 20% among other proposals that have elicited pessimism.

However, this policy consideration seemingly contradicts President William Ruto’s stated goal of improved digital infrastructure, including nationwide free internet access.

Among the top critics of the proposal is the firebrand Busia senator Okiya Omtatah who has asked Kenyans not to be defeatists but to interrogate the contents of the document.

Omtatah noted that the proposed tax increases were based on illegality as he questioned why Ruto’s administration was keen on raising taxes without furnishing Parliament with revenue estimates.

The Bill is expected to be adopted by Cabinet and tabled in Parliament for debate and approval before the end of June.

Please share your thoughts on the Finance Bill in the comments section below. Do you think the Bill is likely to be approved given the mixed reactions it has elicited?

Meanwhile, here are the stories making headlines on Opera News today:

Joho Launches Bid to Take Over ODM Party

Joho, Oparaya eye Raila Odinga's crown as succession war in ODM intensifies

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) deputy party leader Ali Hassan Joho has embarked on an elaborate strategy to assume leadership of the party.

Mr Joho seems to be taking no chances in ODM leader Raila Odinga’s quest for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission (AUC) and has launched nationwide rallies to market the outfit.

Read More…

KRA Seeks Data Protection Waiver to Spy on Tax Cheats

The Treasury is seeking exemption for the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to access sensitive personal data like details of properties owned and bank accounts operated by taxpayers without a court warrant in fresh efforts to catch tax cheats.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u has proposed to amend the Data Protection Act, 2019, through the Finance Bill, to allow the KRA unfettered access to sensitive information held by data controllers and processors, including banks, telecoms operators, utilities, schools, land registries and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

Read More…

Linturi Off the Hook as Committee Members Vote to Save Him

Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development Franklin Mithika Linturi might be safe after the Majority of MPs in the select committee voted to save him.

In the Committee chaired by Marsabit Woman Representative Naomi Wako, the Majority (seven out of eleven), of the members voted to save the CS.

Read More…

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