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Kiambu clerics ask lawmakers to revoke tax on farm produce

Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 07:30 | By
Glory Outreach Assembly Bishop David Munyiri Thagana (center). PHOTO/Print

A section of clerics from Kiambu have expressed displeasure about the government’s decision to tax farmers, saying the move is not only punitive but one that could injure the country’s economic growth.

Led by Bishop David Thagana, Federation of Evangelical and Indigenous Christian Churches of Kenya (FEICCK) Secretary General, the bishops, reverends and pastors urged lawmakers to rescind what they call punitive laws.

In its bid to go for more taxes, the government, in a medium-term revenue strategy by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof Njuguna Ndung’u, wants every farmer delivering their produce to the markets to pay Sh5 for every Sh100 obtained from sales, claiming the agricultural sector is undertaxed.

Decision has continued to elicit sharp criticism from farmers and a section of leaders who want the pronouncement quashed.

Last week, some Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials were chased by farmers from a sensitisation meeting on eTims that they had convened in Kandara, Murang’a to educate avocado farmers on how to pay for their avocado sales through the eTims system.

In their statements, clerics asserted that the decision to tax the informal agricultural sector is ill-timed and must be repealed for the sake of the country’s economic stability and food security.

Speaking at Kigongo village in Gatundu South during the ordination ceremony of Bishop Joseph Karani, Thagana lamented that the heavy taxation has seen the cost-of-living skyrocket, hurting majority of Kenyans, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid.

His sentiments were echoed by Bishop Joseph Karani, who called on lawmakers to stop enacting laws that are punitive to common mwananchi and that are introducing hefty taxes.

“I urge MPs to put the interests of Kenyans first while making crucial decisions that can make or break the country socially, economically or politically,” he said.

Reverend Phyllis Wangechi echoed similar sentiments, saying Kenyans are currently overtaxed and cannot bear any more tax burdens.

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