The Azimio la Umoja coalition has given Kenya Kwanza until midnight today to comply with all its demands and withdraw the punitive Finance Bill, 2023.
Azimio made the resolution after holding a Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting held at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation in Nairobi.
In a statement by National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi on Tuesday, May 30, the MPs resolved to start a public participation exercise opposing the Bill before it is officially withdrawn.
“It is also our position that the Finance Bill as presently crafted must be withdrawn and replaced by a Bill that appreciates the suffering the people of Kenya are going through. Indeed, Azimio MPs have resolved to sign a public pledge to oppose the Bill, awaiting its withdrawal,” Wandayi said.
According to the MPs allied to the Raila Odinga-led coalition, the proposal lacks support for working Kenyans, and small and upcoming businesses by increasing taxes with no returns.
“We oppose the burden being imposed on working people through reckless measures like house levy, income tax, and taxes on per diem. We oppose increased taxes on start-ups and small businesses. We oppose increasing taxes on fuel which will raise the cost of the product by at least Sh10.”
“We reject this backward march. We reject the Finance Bill in total. We reject excess taxation to finance wasteful expenditure,” Azimio said.
On the bi-partisan talks, Azimio has reiterated that the dialogue remains suspended, although Kenya Kwanza had agreed to halt the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) recruitment and keep off Jubilee Party matters.
They claim that Kenya Kwanza wants the joint co-chairs to write to the IEBC selection panel requesting them to halt the process for about 21-30 days.
“To preserve the IEBC's Presidential Election Servers, Kenya Kwanza side has expressed willingness to co-author a letter to the IEBC reminding them of their legal obligation to preserve the Presidential Election Servers and the data contained therein.”
“Kenya Kwanza has asked that the co-chairpersons meet tomorrow to discuss and write the required letters so that the joint bipartisan talks can continue.”
Azimio had opposed the constitution of the panel on grounds that it did not involve all parties, as well as political interference in the Jubilee Party.