TONE DEAF GOVERNMENT

Spokesman Oguna unfair to Kenyans

In Summary
  • Let him go further and share how the situation in Europe is in terms of salaries for top civil servants like him
  • This is in addition to reporting the comparative summary of corruption and happiness index, and the quality of public goods and services
Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna.
Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna.
Image: COURTSEY

I wish to respond to government spokesperson Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna on his comparative statement regarding Kenya’s tax collection and European countries.

Oguna first needs to understand that Europe’s prosperity largely came from industrialisation and not a sustained exercise of overtaxation as is disappointingly happening in Kenya today.

Equally, Oguna should be happy that at least Kenyans are talking about their frustrations with the tax hikes, because it could have been worse with say, tax resistances like those witnessed in Europe’s past which culminated into historical events such as the French Revolution and Magna Carta.

There is no doubt that Kenyans have been a patient lot, even in the face of the current pandemic as well as the deteriorating economic condition and the big money corruption in government that occurs through inconspicuous proxies that comfortably fetch big contracts and tenders like low hanging fruits.

Therefore, when you see wananchi complain, it is not because they love to lament or they just do not know how to stand firm as insinuated by Oguna. People are truly fraught that at this rate of taxation, the government might soon begin to levy them even for the natural and free air that they breathe.

Secondly, the government spokesperson’s comparison of Kenya’s tax collection with European countries is not only superficial, but also a tacitly shameful announcement that the country is living way beyond its means.

It goes without saying that Kenya is many centuries behind Europe in history and development and thus can only survive and thrive by proverbially cutting its coat according to its cloth. Even top economists like Mohamed Wehliye have told us that ours is a spending and spending priorities problem, not revenue.

Finally, if the government spokesperson would still insist on comparisons, let him go further and share how the situation in Europe is in terms of salaries for top civil servants like him in addition to reporting the comparative summary of corruption and happiness index, and the quality of public goods and services.

Thereafter, we can talk.

Sociopolitical commentator in Garissa