Governor Mutua launches presidential bid, pledges to reduce taxes

Machakos Governor and Mandeleo Chap Chap's Presidential candidate Dr. Alfred Mutua launches the party's manifesto at a Nairobi hotel on December 5, 2021. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua yesterday unveiled his plan to transform the country if he wins the 2022 presidential polls.

The governor promised to ensure better living standards for all Kenyans during the launch of his presidential bid and manifesto.

His blueprint that has adopted the "Widening the economic base" approach has 15 pillars including free education, facilitating manufacturing, subsidised food production, tax reduction, fight corruption, sports, foreign debt negotiation, promotion of devolution, enhancing security among others.

Dr Mutua, who will be the flag-bearer of the Maendeleo Chap Chap party, said his administration will focus on tax reduction on imports and manufacturing to reduce the cost of living.

"This manifesto brings together all Kenyans and this is the time to uplift the poor and the unprivileged. Kenyans pay highly for basic utilities compared to other East African countries yet we are more developed. This is due to high taxation," he said.

Mutua's announcement comes after he pledged to rally behind ODM leader Raila Odinga's bid.

"If I was not going for the top most seat I would support Raila for the presidential bid. Anyone can run for presidency and still support their competitor."

The governor pledged to reduce business taxes to 25 per cent.

"I will harmonise county and national government taxes to stop double taxation and reduce income tax from the current 30 per cent to 20 per cent."

On Universal Health Care programme, Mutua pledged grants to county governments to upgrade health facilities focusing on preventive and cure detection of diseases.

“I will provide a grant to all counties to upgrade healthcare facilities and equipment and an additional Sh1 billion to Sh1.5 billion for health funding."

Mutua promised to boost funding of the Judiciary to establish more courts dedicated to handle corruption cases.

"Corruption cases should not take more than six months because the same courts have shown that they can decide on political cases within six months. If it can be done on politicians it can also be done on corruption so that we can recover public money," he added.

He blamed government bureaucracy and corruption for scaring away foreign companies from investing in Kenya.

"We have been losing millions of shillings because investors like filmmakers come to Kenya for production only to be frustrated with taxes and bureaucracy. We will reduce taxes so that filmmakers can tell Kenyan stories and create jobs here," he added.

Mutua said his administration will introduce a Food Fund to address the challenge of starvation as well as establish factories in every constituency.

"Starvation is not only brought by lack of rains but lack of money. Countries with low rainfalls don't depend on reliefs because there is money to buy food. We will also focus on value addition so that farmers earn higher proceeds from agriculture," he said.

Mutua promised to facilitate Kenyans to own decent and affordable homes by introducing a tax holiday for raw materials used in production of cement, paint, steel and other items in construction. In addition companies would enjoy tax reduction for production and transportation of construction materials.