• Without mentioning Uhuru's name, Gachagua said there's no going back on the resolve to ensure those not paying taxes do so.
• The DP was speaking on Thursday when addressing MPs during the ongoing Post-Election Seminar in Mombasa.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has fired back at former President Uhuru Kenyatta over the ongoing debate on nonpayment of taxes.
Without mentioning Uhuru's name, Gachagua said there's no going back on the resolve to ensure those not paying taxes do so.
"Ata ukipiga kelele, hata ukienda wapi, kodi utalipa (No matter how much noise you make, no matter where you go, you must pay tax)," Gachagua said.
The DP was speaking on Thursday when addressing MPs during the ongoing Post-Election Seminar in Mombasa.
President William Ruto declared an all-out war on the families of his predecessors Uhuru Kenyatta and Daniel Moi over tax.
He stated categorically that all Kenyans regardless of their social status must pay taxes.
While addressing MPs at the same seminar on Monday, Ruto said some people who were in power used state instruments to avoid paying taxes — something he said will not happen under his watch.
“The good people who were used to exempting themselves from paying tax, their days are up," Ruto said.
“This country is not the animal farm where some are more equal than others. We are going to have a society where every citizen carries [his or her] fair share of our burden to raise taxes.”
The head of state accused Uhuru of sponsoring Azimio rallies to piles pressure and avoid paying taxes.
"Every citizen must pay tax. It doesn’t matter even if they sponsor demonstrations so that they don’t pay tax. I promise them they will pay tax. There is no more exemption," Ruto said.
Gachagua reiterated the sentiments and said the country is collecting only Sh2.2 trillion in revenue which is all going to salaries and offsetting loans.
He said with this grim reality, those who owe the country taxes must pay at whatever cost.
"There are no negotiations because we are collecting Sh2.2 trillion against a budget of Sh3.6 trillion. The Sh2.2 trillion is enough for servicing public debt and paying salaries," he said.
"We have to borrow money for development. That money we are borrowing for development, people who were in office were lending money to their own banks. So we stop that borrowing and we are saying instead of borrowing, let those who owe Kenya money pay," Gachagua said.
In his rebuttal on Tuesday, Uhuru dismissed the tax onslaught as noise and appeared unperturbed by the pronouncements by the Kenya Kwanza leadership.
"Na wewe Steve usijali hii watu wanapiga mdomo, wacha wapige bwana. Unajua mtu ambaye hana kitu ingine ya kufanya lazima apige mdogo, wacha wapige bwana, hiyo ni ya dunia, sisi tunaendelea na yetu," Uhuru said.
(And you Steve, don't mind these people making noise, let them shout. You know someone who has nothing else to do must make noise, let them, that's life, as for us we will continue with our plans)
Uhuru was responding to concerns by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka over the apparent victimisation of Uhuru.