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Speaker on the spot as he takes fuel VAT bill to Uhuru

by kenya-tribune


National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Thursday handed over the Finance Bill, 2018, to President Uhuru Kenyatta after an uproar over delay.

The President is expected to sign or reject the Bill to settle the ongoing stalemate over the 16 per cent VAT on fuel.

State House spokesperson Kanze Dena confirmed that the Bill had been received. Earlier, Minority Leader John Mbadi had described Mr Muturi’s action as “unfortunate and dishonest”. The Gwasi legislator said Thursday morning that inquiries at the Clerk’s office proved that the Bill had been concluded for forwarding to the President a week ago but was lying at Mr Muturi’s office.

The revelation fanned fears that the government was using delay tactics regarding the controversial tax which has been a subject of public uproar. There are no time-lines in law for Parliament to forward the Bill to the President once passed by MPs.

The law only stipulates that the President’s assent to a Bill must be done within 14 days of receipt or return it to Parliament with a memorandum failing which it automatically becomes law.

“It is unfortunate that despite Parliament approving the Finance Bill, 2018, the same has not been forwarded to the President for assent,” Mr Mbadi had said at a Press conference in his office.

Mr Mbadi read mischief in the move.

“Kenyans are waiting for the President to sign the Bill which is still lying in Parliament.”

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