The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Friday, September 3, issued a statement, dismissing reports that it had summoned Deputy President William Ruto after his pronouncements on some of the properties he owns.
The fake report, which was shared multiple times on social media, indicated that officials from KRA would visit the DP to discuss the composition of his income tax structure.
Further, the report had falsely stated that KRA had only received mandatory income tax in his capacity as Deputy President.
“Kindly be advised that this is fake,” KRA wrote on its Facebook page while making reference to the statement in question.
The DP publicly listed some of his sources of income on Thursday, September 2, noting that he made Ksh1.5 million a day from his Koitalel poultry farm, where he has 200,000 layer chicken.
He went on to list some other properties that he owns, including shares of a telecommunications company and an airline.
“They forgot to disclose that my poultry business, which they listed in acreage, has 200,000 layer chicken and this man sells 150,000 eggs a day, making Sh1.5 million daily,” the DP stated.
It was on the backdrop of these revelations that a section of Kenyans began probing whether the DP was also remitting his taxes, leading to the fake KRA statement.
Kenyans ought to be vigilant on social media to avoid being duped into believing and sharing fake news, especially in the wake of the election period.
Digital strategists warn that such tactics are used in political circles with the aim of maligning some individual’s names, all in the aim of getting ahead.
The law imposes heavy penalties on individuals spreading fake news. If found guilty, the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, 2018 indicates that one risks a maximum jail term of ten years or pay Ksh5 million fine or both.
“A person who intentionally publishes false, misleading or fictitious data or misinforms with the intent that the data shall be considered or acted upon as authentic, with or without any financial gain, commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh5 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.”