In Summary

  • In my opinion, this is a fundamental flaw in the one-man-one-vote electoral democracy.
  • I think we should change it so that on those registered as taxpayers should be allowed to vote – barring, of course, companies, societies and other corporate entities.
  • We should even go a step further and give additional votes based on the amount of tax one has paid during the preceding parliamentary term; say, one additional vote for every Sh10,000 paid in the five years before an election.

On Saturday last week I posted this on Twitter: “There are 2.1 million registered taxpayers in Kenya. There are 19.6 million registered voters in Kenya.”

The tweet spread quite fast and elicited a variety of responses. At the time of writing this article (Wednesday), it had been viewed by over 22,000 people – that’s a very large number considering that I have just 3,500 followers!

The message has been copied on other Internet social media, gone half-way round the Earth and come back to the origin.

A close relative forwarded it to me via WhatsApp and asked whether the information was correct. She didn’t know that I was the source!

 Well, the electoral body has 19.6 million names on the voters’ roll and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) received returns from 2.4 million people by the end of June 30, 2017. The 2.1 million mentioned in the tweet was the number announced on June 29.

Different people made varied conclusions from these numbers. Some said that the figures show the high level of unemployment is in Kenya. Others concluded that it is proof of the high level of tax evasion in the country. Another lot said that KRA was sleeping on the job of recruiting taxpayers.

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