What do artificial nails, crypto currencies, spaghetti and social media influencers have in common?
They are all being targeted by Kenya’s taxman in a raft of new proposals aimed at filling the coffers of President William Ruto’s cash-strapped government.
Ruto is seeking to repair a heavily-indebted economy inherited from his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta, who ramped up borrowing to fund a splurge on costly infrastructure projects.
Despite pledging to improve the lot of impoverished Kenyans during last year’s election campaign, Ruto is now taking the politically unpopular step of raising taxes.
Ruto’s government has drawn up a 3.6-trillion shilling ($26.2 billion) budget for 2023/24 with the proposed new taxes expected to generate 289 billion shillings.
Opponents have warned the measures will hit small businesses at the very heart of the economy as well as households struggling to make ends meet in the face of soaring prices and deep-seated poverty.