Saying they are unprepared for the challenges that 2021 will bring, Kenyans are pleading for the rescheduling of the New Year until such a time that it will be favourable to make the transition.
Top on their list of concerns are the return of the pre-Covid taxes, mobile money transaction charges, school fees and morning traffic jams as yellow buses find their way back to the roads after a ninemonth break.
Besides, the festivities are so pleasurable and making them last a little longer would be great. They are asking President Uhuru Kenyatta to look somewhere in his bag of Executive powers if there is a special tool that he can use to lock time in 11.59pm, December 31, 2020 until Kenyans agree that they are ready to make the leap to 2021.
“If the President can’t stop the taxes from coming back, at least he can find a way of stopping January 1 from arriving this week. I mean, if he can decide when we can go to bed and when to leave the pub, making a ruling on when 2021 can start should be a piece of cake,” said a taxpayer, worried stiff about the huge hole that the return of the high taxes will blow in his already holey pockets.
Another tax-weary citizen said by delaying the arrival of January 1, Kenya won’t be doing anything that has not been done before. He pointed out that other countries in the region and the world have their own unique calendars which make them stand out from the global crowd that violate the midnight sky with obscene lights every 365 and a half days.
“For example, Ethiopia is in 2013 and the New Year is September 11. Kenya can join that club of special nations by refusing to enter 2021 with everyone else on Friday. I know that they say something about taxes, time and death being inevitable but we can prove the fellow who coined that old clichéd line dead wrong,” said a citizen.
Apart from the fear of the taxman and Safaricom demanding their pound of flesh come January 1, Kenyans also loath the renewal of contacts with the school bursar, the bookshop, the school uniform shop and the supermarket. And the only thing that can protect them from these unpleasant realities would be the delay of the arrival of the New Year.
“Come to think of it, 2020 actually has a nice ring to it and I don’t see the reason why we should be in a hurry to leave it behind. In fact, 2021 sounds a little off and we need time to prepare for it… say another two months or so,” suggested another taxpayer, adding that Covid-19 had taught Kenyans a lot about the virtue of patience and waiting for another 60 days before ushering in the New Year would not kill anyone.
Other Kenyans suggest that the best way to avoid the pains of January is to jump straight to February, thus begin the year in a more forgiving month.
“The only way we can avoid the taxes, school fees and the New Year blues is to skip Njaanuary altogether with its attendant pains and costs. February is always nicer and shorter and that’s where we should go,” suggested a taxpayer, tearing a chunk of meat off a succulent piece of roasted goat rib.
By the time of going to press, anxious Kenyans – except KRA, mobile phone providers, private school owners, bookshops, uniform makers, bursars and drivers of yellow buses – were threatening to collect 40 million signatures to stop the crossover to 2021.
– [email protected]