Kenya: Mass action against new taxes looms

By Samuel Ouma

President Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta

A plan to call for protests by a section of Members of Parliament allied to the opposition against the new levies on fuel and petroleum products are underway.

Butere legislator Tindi Mwale, Ayub Savula from Lugari, nominated Member of Parliament Godfrey Osotsi and Justus Murunga, Matungu threatened mobilize Kenyans to go to streets to express their displeasure against the high cost of living which has come as a result of Value Added Taxes (VAT) imposed on them by the uncaring government.

The four leaders who hail from the Western part of the country faulted President Uhuru Kenyatta and his new ally the opposition Chief Raila Odinga for interfering with the voting on the new taxes in the National Assembly in which the President’s memorandum to slash 16% VAT by half and austerity measures to reduce expenditures and raise revenues for government projects carried the day. They termed the new set taxation as oppressive to the common Kenyans.

They vowed to go to court and if their grievances will not be addressed, street protests will be the only solution. They claimed they have capability to call for nationwide demonstration which will give the citizens a good platform to fight for their rights. The irate legislators attributed staggering economy to massive looting by government officials and over borrowing.

“We cannot keep on looking as resources are taken and accumulated by few individuals through corrupt dealings. Kenyans ought to stand up and defend their rights,” reiterated Tindi Mwale.

Elsewhere, Nandi Member of Parliament Alfred Keter has issued a stern warning of silent revolution if the government will continue to live in denial while the economy is on verge of collapsing. He decried of huge debts Kenya owe her creditors.

He lauded the legislators who fought in the Parliament to shoot down the new 8% on fuel. Keter urged his colleagues to boldly fight impunity in the National Assembly and kick out the cartels masquerading as the house leaders.

“Legislators who stood with Kenyans are now the leaders of that revolution since it lacked this before Thursday. At the moment we are leading from the front,” said Keter, one of the government’s fierce critics.

The state has been castigated for employing dirty means to ensure success endorsement of the new levies. It is claimed it resorted to bribery and intimidation to work against the legislators who had bridged the political divide to veto the president’s proposals.

It was also noted that the government used the top House leadership and committee chairs to dismiss opposition to the memorandum. The government further engaged to personal calling asking legislators to support the new tax. Speaker Justine Muturi, Majority Leader Aden Duale ,Minority Leader John Mbadi and minority whip Junet Mohammed have been blamed for throwing their weight behind the controversial tax.

The new tax law took effect after president Kenyatta assent it on Friday, September 21,2018, hours before leaving for New York for the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.




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