President Uhuru Kenyatta last night rejected the Finance Bill 2018.
Speaker Justin Muturi had been accused by Suba MP John Mbadi of delaying to present the bill. "It is unfortunate that despite Parliament approving the Finance bill 2018, the same has not been forwarded to the speaker" said Mbadi.
MP Moses Kuria is on record as supporting the 16 per cent VAT imposed on petroleum products. A post on his Facebook timeline read. "Yes. I am supporting 16 per cent VAT on fuel. I am not ashamed of it. I am not pretentious. And yes I know I will lose some of my friends and supporters. But my principles are more important to me as a Christian, a leader and a man who went to the river and not for fetching water to build a mud-walled house."
Kenyans have expressed their discontentment with the President's move.
"In as much as the president is in need of cash to fund his big four agenda, he should at least honour his promises of reducing the high cost of living to a manageable level," lamented one of speakers.
The VAT imposed by the National treasury on September 1, resulted to a countrywide drastic fuel price hike.
Had the 14 days duration elapse without the president's action on the Bill, the 16 per cent tax on petroleum products would have been suspended.
The punitive VAT was triggered by IMF's recommendation that would see Kenya position itself for future advanced development loans.
In a gazette notice, the speaker has since summoned the MPs for a special sitting on Tuesday and Thursday next week.
The notice read, "the special sittings of the Assembly shall deal with the message of the president in respect of his reservations to the Finance Bill 2018."
The constitution of Kenya stipulates that if the president refuses to assent to a bill, he must within 14 days submit to the Speaker of the National Assembly, a memorandum indicating the specific provisions of the bill which in his opinion should be amended.
This then gives Parliament the liberty to either adopt President's recommendations or reject them. The MPs also have an option of approving the bill in its original form. Should they resolve to approve the Financial Bill 2018 in its original form, it must be supported by not less than 65 per cent of all the members of National Assembly.
For now, it's a matter of 'let's wait to see'