Hefty church donors don't pay as much tax, claims Mudavadi

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Ruaka, Kiambu County, during a Sunday service yesterday. [Beverlyne Musili,Standard]
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi has questioned the source of money some leaders have been donating to churches and during harambees.

Mr Mudavadi, who spoke at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) in Ruaka, Kiambu County yesterday, asked churches to question the source of the donations to ensure the money was clean.

"It is not wrong to donate. However, the point I am making is the church, as an institution, is regarded as a moral guide for the society. That is why it must ensure what is donated is clean by inquiring about the source of such hefty donations," Mudavadi said.

He added: "We should not reach the point where we are judged based on the donations we make. The people must ask where one got the money from. These are issues I think the church and society at large must ask about."

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Mudavadi said he wondered how some individuals gave more that some of the country's biggest profit-making companies.

"Even some of these rich companies wonder how an individual donates more than what they donate to their corporate social responsibility programmes, especially when you look at it in terms of frequency and the amount given," he said.

Mudavadi also claimed that some of the individuals donating a lot of money did not feature in the list of the biggest taxpayers in the country.

"Have you ever wondered how one individual can generate such resources and donate so much? And why didn’t he feature as one of the largest taxpayers in Kenya? The other day the President was honouring premium taxpayers in this country. How come these individuals didn’t feature?" asked Mudavadi.

Although he did not mention him, Deputy President William Ruto has come under sharp criticism in recent months over his donations, especially to churches.

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Mr Ruto has, however, told off his critics. While speaking during the installation of regional bishops of the Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa Church in Karatina, Nyeri County, in October, the DP said he was unapologetic about the help he was giving to religious institutions.

“I know there are charges against me for helping Christians in churches. I plead guilty to the charges and so there is no requirement of witnesses. I am not ashamed of my faith," Ruto said.

When he attended a global leadership summit at the Christ is the Answer Ministries church along Valley Road last month, the DP urged the faithful to ignore those opposed to his support towards building the church.

Mudavadi called on youths to drop the 'hustler' tag and work hard to fulfil their dreams. “We are misleading young people when we tell them being a hustler is the way to go. This is wrong. Check the meaning of the word hustler in the dictionary and you will not want to be associated with it.”

Mudavadi also dismissed claims that NASA had died after the appointment of co-principals Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka to positions approved by the State.

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Raila, who is also the ODM leader, is now the African Union Commission High Representative for Infrastructure Development while Mr Musyoka, the Wiper leader, is the head of the joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) on peace in South Sudan

“The appointments do not signal the death of NASA. The coalition has faced many challenges and the struggle continues. However, there is no time we disbanded it. So those who keep saying NASA is dead, is Musalia dead?” he said.

He admitted that the Opposition was shaken following the appointments, but quickly added that this should not be personalised as it incorporated many institutions, including civil society and the Church.

"It is shaken but it will get strong again. It is getting out of that moment of turmoil. Let us not personalise the Opposition. Let us look at it as an institution recognised in the context of our Constitution and democracy.”

Mudavadi said he had no problem with the State appointments of NASA co-principals and did not doubt their abilities to deliver.

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State appointments

“Everybody has a right to take up a certain challenge or decision and I don’t want to begrudge anybody,” he said.

However, he warned the leaders against embracing the Government they were expected to check as the Opposition.

"I don't think we should all be in the Government, it is not healthy for democracy. However, all this is happening because in Kenya, we have perpetuated a mentality that if you are in the Opposition you are disloyal, unpatriotic and somebody should monitor your movements,” he added.

Mudavadi lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta’s war against corruption. He also commended the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and other investigative agencies, saying they were doing a good job to free the country from the vice.

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