Gatundu South Member of Parliament (MP) Moses Kuria caused mixed reactions among Kenyans on social media after his remarks during a live interview by Citizen TV on Tuesday 11 September.
The MP was called among others, Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and Public Policy Analyst Dr. Alex Awiti to discuss on the 16 per cent tax on fuel.
Kuria had earlier posted on his Facebook page saying that he fully supports the 16% VAT tax on fuel.
“Yes. I am supporting 16% VAT on fuel. I am not ashamed of it. I am not pretentious. And yes I know I will lose some of my friends and supporters. But my principles are more important to me as a Christian, a leader and a man who went to the river and not for fetching water to build a mud-walled house,” said Moses.
During the interview, he pointed out that the VAT will not affect other basic commodities such as maize and wheat flour citing that the ‘basic commodities are zero-rated’.
“There is no VAT on maize floor and wheat flour. The basic commodities are zero-rated. Even if the VAT is implemented on fuel, the basis consumption products are zero-rated. What would we say if there was VAT on unga?” he said.
“Paying taxes is sacred. We are shooting ourselves in the foot if we deny government the right to levy taxes,” he added.
However, some netizens who were keen to listen to his remarks noted a number of things, with some alleging that he was not sober during the interview.
Boni Khalwale also pointed out at some point that an alcohol blow should have been placed at the door of the studio.
Kuria’s remarks sparked some sort of controversy among Kenyans and this is what some of them had to say;
I'm listening to Moses Kuria and wondering if his brain committed suicide or something . Saying that increasing the price of fuel has no effect on the price of other commodities like cereals, and he claims he's an expert on taxation. What grade did he score? — Victor Mochere (@VictorMochere) September 11, 2018
I agree with Moses Kuria that’s paying tax is patriotism. We just need to be involved in crafting the tax policies and specific taxes we should pay. But we MUST pay taxes. — Robert ALAI, HSC (@RobertAlai) September 12, 2018
So Moses Kuria shows up on national TV while tipsy, and purports to speak on behalf of the government. Addressing serious issues while drunk!Hivi ndio gava inatubeba? — Chad Bironga Makori???????? (@chadbironga) September 11, 2018
Is this guy ok? Maybe One day, just one day, Moses Kuria will go to the studio while sober, until then, we should continue praying for him. Meanwhile, ignore him pic.twitter.com/fZ6fDpeZBv — Dan Oduk (@dan_oduk) September 11, 2018
Moses Kuria is talking of out ignorance and arrogance and calling himself an expert in matters taxation is an insult to the accounting profession. It's sad!@HusseinMohamedg @KBonimtetezi @citizentvkenya #NewsNight — Maina Jack (@MainaJacki) September 11, 2018
Someone tell Moses Kuria that we dont have a problem with paying the 16% VAT if at all its going to be used for development. We only have a problem because we know the money will be used to fund Jubilee looting kitty. — Alphaxard Ng'ang'a (@AlphaxardNganga) September 11, 2018
Watching Moses Kuria speak trash on national television makes me feel sad as a young Kenyan. I feel that Gatundu South constituents should immediately begin the process of recalling him. SHAME! pic.twitter.com/u5aCdm52Zg
Those supporting moses kuria should known one of the principles of taxation ,say that the tax imposed citizens must have ability to pay and it must not appear as punishment it should be understandable. — Chris Osumo (@ChrisOsumo) September 12, 2018
Moses kuria knew that 16% tax fuel is a wrong idea and in order for him to support it on a national tv like citizen, he had to appear drunk and people wont blame him but VAT69... He has already achieved.... — Gateru James (@james_gateru) September 12, 2018