Embu Assembly drops plan to tax witchdoctors

The County Assembly of Embu says it will waive licence fees on witchdoctors because they cannot be easily traced, MCAs were told Wednesday, April 13th.

Finance Committee Chairman Kanjogu Mugo told County Assembly of Embu that there was an undisputed decision to scrap the witchcraft levies because it was not easy to collect it from the “mysterious operators”.

This move has rubbed several county leaders the wrong way, with many questioning the impact the decision will have on Embu populace.

According to Muminji MCA Newton Kariuki, the proposal by the Assembly’s Finance and Economic Planning Committee to obliterate a tax provision for the traditional health services, herbalists, and divine healers from the 2016 Embu County Finance Bill could see an uncontrollable burgeoning of witchcraft dens across Embu.

Mr Kariuki maintained that the proposed annual charges of Ksh 5,000 for anyone wishing to start the ‘witchcraft, divining, astrology, sorcery or rainmaking’ business, should be retained to “avoid making Embu County the Kenyan capital for black magic.”

Mr Kariuki observes that advertisements for sorcery and witchcraft services would litter the county if the business was left untaxed.

He, however, cautioned that the Embu County Tax Waivers Act, 2015 did not cover this category.

Mr Kariuki revealed that his grandfather was a renowned wizard, and told the County Assembly that sorcery was a business in Embu as top politicians and dignitaries would flock witchcraft burrows at night especially as the General Election draws near. He thus believed the County Government stood to rake-in millions in revenue from the trade.

Kanjogu Mugo said circumcision for boys in public hospitals would be charged at Ksh 500 following public outcry when the new proposed rate was raised to Ksh 1,500.

He added that rape victims would now only pay Ksh 2,000 as opposed to the earlier Ksh 4,000.

But Kariuki said the subsidised circumcision should be clearly stated as meant for boys only, lest unscrupulous doctors start performing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) at Ksh 500. He also opined that charges for rape victims ought to be waived completely as the ordeal was traumatising enough.

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