Taxes are meant to be paid by any person or organization earning/gaining something from the state. That includes a simple Kibanda(informal stall) owner to these huge churches we see cropping up everywhere nowadays.
As long as you have made some money or made any valuable “discovery” from this state called Kenya, you MUST give back to the people.
The government is the recipient of the money from parties like the KRA and Donors, therefore the government should ensure all the money received goes into running/improving the state to make it a better place for its citizens to live in.
As much as you a loyal tax payer, pay your taxes it would be wise for you to keep track on whether other people are paying their taxes. People who normally go undetected by the tax radars are exploration companies e.g Tullow Oil company.
So, What do our laws say about foreign companies, who come to drill holes in our land all in the hopes of finding mineral wealth? Kenyan at se7en is pleased to report something good. According to the East African magazine, Kenya had announced new rules that will sharply increase licensing fees and introduce tough penalties for non-adherence to exploration schedules. These changes include higher royalties and taxes. These new regulations were supposed to have been introduced by mid 2013 (Kenyan at se7en has tried looking at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum website for some update… couldn’t find).
The collection of taxes part is covered, but how are these huge sums of money being used? For example just recently Tullow Oil Company paid $6.3 million out of the $950,000 million they are supposed to pay the government. Ok!!! That’s a lot of money, so where does it go? Are the displaced people compensated (although you can never really compensate ancestral heritage)?
What about the environmental degradation which results from all these activities?
Destruction to the human and animal activities that used to go on?
What about the machinery being used (because they obviously have not been manufactured locally), have they had import taxes imposed on them?
Also another are of great importance to look into (can/cannot be tax related) is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). How many of these MNCs (Multi-National Companies) give back to the communities. Not talking about building a school or a clinic but rather how many local youths for example are being trained on site? This is to ensure that the “great knowledge & skills” that these MNCs posses are passed on to the local population, so that next time we can have our very own explorers who can come up with more cost effective ways of drilling OUR minerals.
Sticking with Tullow Oil who were also given negative feedback from the Turkana people:
- Where are the schools in Turkana COUNTY?
- Where are the roads?
- Health facilities?
- And many more developments…? I know they’ve only started drilling but where are the talks about the plans to endeavor in such developments?
These companies are often given tax breaks then in the name of CSR (corporate social responsibility) build one or two primary/nursery schools. This is wrong!-to me- The government MUST tax these companies then use that money itself to build all necessary infrastructures. Local development should not be left in the hands of MNCs; African governments should capitalize from these corporations and use the revenues to develop the country especially the area where the minerals are coming from.
We are not beggars (they are) we supposedly have something that they want and they are willing to use large amounts of money in hopes that they will discover what we have. MAKE THEM PAY.
Kenya has 46 exploration blocks where minerals potentially lie, Multinational companies are rushing in to “discover” these minerals. MAKE THEM PAY!
MNCs look for profits in Africa; African states tax them then use these revenues to develop Africa. NOT these companies “developing” Africa get it right!
By Kenyan at se7en