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MPs opposed to new taxes declare war on House leaders

by kenya-tribune
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By SHABAN MAKOKHA
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Some MPs opposed to the Finance Bill, 2018 have told public gatherings they will petition to challenge its implementation.

Matungu MP Justus Murunga, his Lugari counterpart Ayub Savula and nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi of Amani National Congress want the law reviewed, arguing that it will affect the lives of Kenyans who depend on fuel for their daily operations.

They say the Act has taken the country back to the old, tyrannical times. The law has elicited a public outcry for its new taxes on fuel and other items.

The three MPs blamed the Executive for “bulldozing the Assembly’s activities” through Speaker Justin Muturi, Majority Leader Adan Duale and Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali.

“The Executive has become a power grab, which dictates proposals in Parliament. This contravenes the independence of the legislative arm of the government as stipulated in the Constitution,” Mr Murunga said.

Speaking at Ejinja Secondary School in Matungu Sub-County on Saturday, the MPs warned that they will strive to ensure that most of those in the House leadership are removed, and also raise fundamental constitutional concerns to institute legislative competence in the National Assembly.

Mr Osotsi referred to the bill as the “Henry VIII Clause” in reference to the British king who forced through many pieces of legislation without Parliament’s approval.

Before the vote on Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga had convened meetings with their respective parties to get MPs to support the President’s proposals.

And the special session, which was marred by chaos, endorsed President Kenyatta’s memorandum on the Finance Bill and introduced VAT on petroleum products.

“We want to bring an end to the tendency where the Executive dictates what the Legislature can do. We want to see an appropriate balance of power between the Legislature and the Executive in future,” Mr Osotsi said.

He told the Assembly leadership led by Mr Muturi, Mr Duale, Mr Washiali and Minority Leader Junet Mohammed, as well as the chairmen of House committees, that they will be removed for acting against the will of Kenyans when the MPs return from recess in October.

He said most of the MPs who voted against bill were prepared to block the implementation of the Act in court and “clean the House”.

“We are not going to sit there and hand over power to the government to override Parliament, override democracy, and just lay down a series of diktats on what is going to happen to Kenyans in future,” he added.

Mr Savula said Mr Muturi and Mr Duale led the House in rigging the vote to introduce the VAT, and called on Kenyans to come out and protest against the punitive law, which will make their lives unbearable.

He maintained that, despite the Speaker declaring that the “Ayes” won the vote, it was clear that the “Nays” had.

“Mr Muturi declared a false outcome of the vote to please his masters. We are determined, as MPs, to remove him from the seat.”



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