Four Kenyans own more wealth than the poorest 22 million combined

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Four of the richest people in Kenya have more wealth than the poorest 40 percent of Kenyans which is equivalent to 22 million people combined, a new research has shown.

According to the analysis by Oxfam,  Kenya’s super-rich are increasingly amassing enormous wealth as the rest continue to grapple with the increasing cost of living courtesy of the Covid 19 pandemic which led to loss of jobs and a sharp rise in the price of basic commodities.

“The analysis shows that the increasing extreme wealth of the rich and increasing extreme poverty of the poor driven by low taxes on the richest Kenyans by virtue of tax breaks, incentives, avoidance and evasion, alongside unfairly higher taxes on poorest Kenyans, directly through income tax and indirectly through taxes on fuel, food and basic commodities, is a social ill and a shame,” Oxfam Country Director in Kenya, Dr John Kitui said in a press release on Wednesday, January 18.

Millionaires from 13 countries have petitioned world leaders attending the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, to come up with concrete solutions on how to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.

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The millionaires have said that in the last five decades, wealth has only been flowing upwards, and the solution is to tax the super-rich highly.

“Tax the ultra-rich and do it now. It’s simple, common-sense economics,” the millionaires have said.

“The current lack of action is gravely concerning. A meeting of the ‘global elite’ in Davos to discuss ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World’ is pointless if you aren’t challenging the root cause of division. Defending democracy and building cooperation requires action to build fairer economies right now – it is not a problem that can be left for our children to fix,” they said.

In the last decade, the analysis shows the richest Kenyans with a net wealth of over 1 million dollars have seen their wealth grow by 72 percent. Additionally, the population of this category of Kenyans has equally grown by 134 percent.

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