The National Treasury’s 2019 move to exempt NIC and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) from paying share sale tax following their merger has returned to haunt former President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family.
Former Treasury CS Henry Rotich in June exempted the transfer of CBA shares to NIC Bank from paying stamp duty of one percent of the value of unquoted stocks being transferred.
The merger agreement did not specify the value of CBA shares, but analysts estimated that the stake was worth Ksh35 billion based on the book value at the time the deal was announced, putting the stamp duty charge at or above Ksh350 million.
“The Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning, on the recommendation of the Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Physical Planning, directs that the instruments executed in respect of the transactions relating to the merger of NIC Group PLC and Commercial Bank of Africa shall be exempt from the provisions of the Act,” Rotich said in a notice.
President William Ruto on Monday chastised unnamed powerful individuals in previous administrations whom he accuses of evading taxes.
Ruto implied that Azimio protest rallies are being sponsored by the tax evaders.
“We cannot continue to operate in a space where those in power exempt themselves from paying taxes using all manner of instruments while those who do not have as much power pay tax. The good people who are used to exempting themselves from paying tax their day is up and every citizen must pay tax.
“It doesn’t matter even if they sponsor demonstrations so that they don’t pay tax, I want to promise them they will pay tax. No more exemptions, this country is not an animal farm where some are more equal than the others, “Ruto warned.
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