I generally do not follow politics. Why, you ask? Because I decided when I was about 11 years old that if I wanted to see the bad guy win all the time, I’d watch reruns of ‘The Usual Suspects‘. Kenyan Politics is painful and boring; the same idiots committing the same crimes against the same people – us – and always getting away with it.
Although I have been somewhat following this MP taxation issue. Not so much because I wanted to see MPs get taxed, I just wanted to see how they’d avoid paying taxes. And boy has it been
The new Constitution – which we promulgated and slaughtered goats over in August 2010 – categorically states that no Kenyan MP shall be exempt from paying taxes. It further states that Parliament can not put into place laws or mechanisms that facilitate this tax evasion. I didn’t understand most of the constitution, but that part was pretty black and white.
But here we are almost a year later and our MPs still don’t pay taxes. Why?
First they complained that the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution were not in charge of interpreting, nay implementing, the new constitution. Which is stupid. It’s in their name; that’s their job. That’s like an obese guy telling his dietician ‘You’re not supposed to tell me what to eat’ as he scoops another spoon of deep fried ice cream. Uhm, yes he is, Chubby-saurus Rex. Now, put the spoon down and go graze on lettuce.
While the bulk were busy pointing fingers saying ‘You’re not the boss of me’ like some bratty, spoiled infants, some of the more sneaky ones starting putting measures in place for their salaries to be increased to accomodate the taxes they owe. It’s sad to see that our MPs have not understood the basic concept of taxation. I think they thought their salaries were pocket money and the President was their rich father and taxes were gifts from their numerous generous uncles. Now they’re running to mommy Parliament bawling ‘But I don’t want responsibilitiiiiies!’ Dear MPs, you earn more than the rest of us and we pay taxes and survive just fine. In the wise words of DMX, ‘Y’all been eating long enough, now stop being greedy…Arf! Arf!‘
But I think the worst mistake they have made by far is to assume that anybody will take their side. Njirani – the guy in charge of domestic tax – is out for blood. You may not see it on his face but I swear he salivates and gets a stiffy just thinking about making MPs pay taxes, whether they want to or not. Every time they bark back that he’s being rude, he smiles knowing that the Constitution, its implementation committee, the judiciary and all concerned parties support him.
Scarier than that even is just how pissed off Kenyans will get if MPs decided to not pay taxes. For as much as I don’t see how Kenya can effectively orchestrate a successful revolution, I have not lost faith in my people’s abilities to kick ass and set things on fire.
And this is why I wonder about our MPs mental health. Is it a mass psychology kinda thing where if enough people act crazy, they all act crazy? Is it that they clearly don’t see that they are on the wrong and this is a lost cause that will only cost them more? Do they just not understand what a tax is and why it should be paid? More importantly, do they not see that if they are pissed off about paying tax and they earn that much, we who earn less and have been being taxed are waaaaaaay more pissed off? And we know where they live. And petrol prices are going down. Matchsticks are 3 bob, stones are free. You know, small things to remember when trying to steal from people who are tired of being robbed.
But as I watch the news and take a trip down memory lane, I remember that I’ve seen this movie before. This is the part where we get all hopeful and cheer on the good guy. All he has to do is get to the top of the building where the bad guy is lying on the floor weakened. Then the hero accidentally gets decapitated by elevator doors or something randomly fatal. Yet, the bad guy who was on the top floor he was heading to survives.
Or to to put it plainly, MPs will find another way to rob us, so the probably the dumbest thing they are doing right now is acting like a little tax will really hurt their bottom line. They’ll just compensate for it with some random per diem or benefits package and get bigger cars next year.
And we’ll be sitting here singing the same old song, shedding tattoo tears…
No one enjoys paying taxes, but tax professionals are always needed to help people who would like help figuring them out. Information about online accounting classes is available for people who are good at taxes and want to learn the skills needed to help other people.