My view is that these figures (only 12 per cent of voters are taxpayers) explain why we have such a high level of wastage and theft of public resources by public officials. It is because our gatekeepers are all largely voted in by people who do not contribute to the national kitty.

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.

This would make the national election similar to a company or Sacco. In companies, for example, shareholders are assigned votes equal to the number of shares they own. But then there is an argument that everybody pays Value Added Tax (VAT) when they purchase goods and services; so everyone is a taxpayer. That reasoning is fundamentally flawed! The fact that you buy things is proof that you have an income and anybody who has an income is supposed to paay tax. If you don’t, then you are a tax-evader and you shouldn’t get the right to vote. After all, those who pay income tax also pay VAT!

In the mid-1700s, Americans coined the phrase “no taxation without representation” as they agitated for independence from Great Britain. After 250 years, we should turn this around and demand “no representation without taxation.”

 

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