CAJ News Agency (Johannesburg)

24 January 2014

Kenya: Odinga Dissuades Govt From Taxing Athletes

Nairobi — FORMER Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, has castigated the government over its move to tax athletes.

Joining the fray over what has been a contentious issue in recent weeks, he argued that the government did not help develop the talent among the athletes and thus called for the withdrawal of plans to tax them.

He urged the Uhuru Kenyatta administration to give room for further consultation over the plans to tax the runners.

This comes on the heels of a meeting in Eldoret that was attended by over 300 athletes that unanimously resolved to boycott the oncoming Olympics if the government did not relent on its bid to tax them. The group further stated that it was going to send a delegation to President Uhuru Kenyatta to seek his intervention on the matter.

The new taxation will cut across all sports with prominent footballers in the country such as Victor Mugubi, Dennis Oliech, among others participating in foreign leagues, expected to comply with the new directive.

Previously, steeplechase champion, Ezekiel Kemboi, added his voice on the raging taxation saga pointing out that the amount of money the athletes pay as tax in foreign countries was exorbitant and further taxation be the Kenyan government would impoverish them.

"In Europe we are being taxed as you can take for example in the United States we pay 30 percent, in the UK we pay 25 percent, Italy 16 percent, France 15 percent and Spain 22 percent," said Kemboi.

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