Mt Kenya business community decry over-taxation and poor business environment.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi addressing a Mt. Kenya business caucus at a Thika hotel on Thursday evening. 

Businessmen drawn from the larger Mt. Kenya region on Thursday even expressed their disappointment in the government’s economic policies which they said exposed them to unfair competition.
While speaking when they met ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, the traders complained of over-taxation and poor business environment for local entrepreneurs which has led to so many of them close shop and other being rendered bankrupt.
The government has created so many hurdles for local entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, they are offering a very favourable working environment to the foreign companies setting up shop in the country, some of who operate with very minimal taxation to the detriment of our own entrepreneurs,” said Afred Wanyoike who is the chairman of Thika District Business Association (TDBA).
He added that what business people wanted was a government that guaranteed them of a conducive business environment unlike today where security agencies capitalised on the fight against counterfeits to extort them and cripple their businesses.
The traders, who included exporters, retailers, manufacturers, transporters, microfinance operators, Sacco leaders and property owners, wondered how the government expected to grow its economy and create more employment opportunities if most of its people were being pushed out of business. 
Responding to their concerns, Mudavadi challenged the government to address pertinent concerns raised by business people.
 “The high rate at which we are forcibly being taxed amounts to extortion. The economy should be driven by minimal taxation, good leadership and transparency. We can’t have a government heavily relying on taxes to run its activities at the time corruption is rampant,” Mudavadi said.
He appealed to the government to use relevant agencies empowered to establish at the source if items bought are genuine or not.
The former deputy premier wondered why the Jubilee administration had to wait for business people to buy, ferry and pay taxes before impounding their items.
Former Gatanga MP Humphrey Njuguna raised alarm on the spiraling public debt and borrowing, which are hurting the economy.
“We support the fight against corruption but also call the government to put in place measures that can detect and stop the stealing. They should not wait for people to steal," Njuguna said.
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