By Kenfrey Kiberenge
Finance Minister Njeru Githae is a bright man. Having watched his predecessors at the Treasury over the years cleverly target the oil industry as their prime source of revenue, he decided to fish elsewhere.
I say clever because the ministers knew that everything in Kenya is somehow a product of petroleum translating into a larger tax base. This time, though, Githae appreciated it would be improper to raid the oil sector again.
But since he had to come up with a clever way of getting everybody to pay taxes, he went for the landlords!
Unless you have Mother Teresa as your landlady, then it would be naïve to think that landlords will absorb the taxes from the current rental fees you are paying.
Until I came to London, UK, I used to bristle with rage each time there was an increment in taxes on things I knew would affect me.
But my two-week stay here so far has made me appreciate why a majority of people in the West are proud taxpayers!
Compared to Nairobi, day-to-day life in London is quite easy. With super fast Internet available almost everywhere, it is easy to go online and estimate the amount of time it will take you moving from one point to another.
This has been made possible by an elaborate underground electric railway system that skirts any possibility of traffic jam.
The lines are constantly serviced; stations are fitted with working air conditioners and CCTV cameras and excellent signage to help passengers find suitable trains.
As if that is not enough, the city boasts countless double decker buses with dedicated bus lanes to complement the trains.
Police officers are well paid and groomed, translating into more security for the city. Potholes are also quickly filled up. In addition, every house has running water and electricity and Britain’s public healthcare is one of the best structured in the world.
But to enjoy these services, Britons have to pay through their nose, which puts London among the most comfortable, yet most expensive, cities to live in the world.