Emurua Dikir Member of Parliament Johana Ng'eno on Tuesday announced his intention to introduce legislation requiring all Kenyans to declare their wealth in order to combat tax evasion and assist the country in meeting its revenue targets.
Speaking in Nandi, the legislator said the move has been prompted by concerns about wealthy individuals who have stashed illegally acquired assets overseas.
The proposed legislation will also grant the Auditor General and other investigative agencies, such as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the authority to recover unaccounted-for wealth held abroad.
According to the legislator, by recovering these assets, the government can alleviate the need to impose higher taxes on Kenyans.
Ng'eno claimed that some wealthy Kenyans have stashed Ksh3 trillion abroad.
"After the declaration of that wealth, those who will fail to reveal their wealth outside the country will have the wealth repossessed by the government. We will draft another law to authorise the Auditor General and other investigative agencies to bring back that money," he stated.
"If that money is brought back it is very likely it will be the same amount as the budget for two financial years. The President can even announce that we don't need to collect tax."
The politician, who is a close ally of President William Ruto also intimated that the proposals would target government officials in the Jubilee government accused of looting government coffers during the transition from the Jubilee government to Kenya Kwanza.
"It is those who were in the past administration that looted the money and they are now talking to us (government) arrogantly. It is time for us to talk about the money held in foreign banks," he added.
Occasionally, high net-worth Kenyans such as politicians have been accused of stashing their wealth overseas to evade scrutiny regarding how they made their money.
Stashing of wealth abroad is also done to evade taxation as the rich opt to invest in countries with lenient tax policies.
Currently, state officers are the only Kenyans required to declare their wealth and this is mostly done during application and vetting for jobs.
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