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Raila Odinga defends the Kenyattas in tax exemption row

Relationships
 President William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Opposition chief Raila Odinga says President William Ruto's tax evasion claims on the Kenyatta family are founded on ignorance.

Odinga made the remarks during a rally in Kibra, Nairobi.

While defending the Kenyatta family, Odinga explains that generational inheritance is legally exempted from taxation as he asked Ruto to stay away from the politics of taxes and leave the Kenya Revenue Authority to do its job.

"Leave tax matters to KRA, let KRA do its work and stop politicizing them. Leave Mama Ngina alone, leave Uhuru Kenyatta alone!"

"I hear them accusing others of evading taxes. Yesterday, even a respected mother had to speak about it because she had been insulted by them so many times. They don't know where Kenya came from. When Mama Ngina spent a night in the cell. Why insult an old woman in her 80s heading to 90s? She is your grandmother's age," Raila remarked.

"There is a law exempting the Kenyatta estate from paying taxes. The law was introduced in 1969. Then after Kenyatta passed, in 1980, Moi introduced his name to the list. This was overturned in 1982 and the law now exempts all Kenyans. That if you inherit a dead man's property you don't pay tax," Odinga explained.

Raila has also reiterated his stand on the selection of IEBC commissioners saying all parties must be involved in the process.

On the other hand, President Ruto downplayed that tax issues, saying all Kenyans must pay taxes, irrespective of their social status.

He made the remarks at a church service in Deliverance Church Ruai, Nairobi.

He added that the taxes paid must reflect the taxpayer's income.

"I am happy to say that we have built our country that there will be no waiver of taxes for anybody. We have agreed that we are equal before the law and we should remit taxes according to our income," Ruto said.

"We are not talking about who is bigger or not, we all pay tax. It will help us end debt in the country. If we continue with this, we will get to a point of giving loans to other countries,"

The president also urged state agencies battling KRA in court over tax evasion claims to withdraw the court cases, and agree with the taxman on how to pay.

"I have talked to KRA to allow people to pay the taxes without force or coercion. I also asked state agencies to drop court cases against KRA and agree on how to pay. The cases benefit the lawyers and waste government funds. If there is a challenge let us settle it out of court. We have to be united seamlessly and organized," he says.

When a property owner dies, the Kenya Law says, 'Provided that in no case shall estate duty be chargeable, under the foregoing paragraphs, more than once on the same share of or interest in any property in respect of the same death.'

On Friday, the Azimio team will be having a public meeting in Mavoko, Machakos County, before proceeding to Busia two days later.

He has also planned to visit parts of the Rift Valley, Coast, and Mount Kenya regions.

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