Azimio la Umoja plans to draft parallel budget

 Azimio leaders led by Raila Odinga (centre) said their budget will outline issues that the government ought to have considered. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leaders on Wednesday said they will draft a parallel budget to counter the 2022/2023 financial year budget for the Kenya Kwanza administration.

The Azimio leaders led by Raila Odinga said the Sh3.6 trillion budget does not mirror what Kenyans want from the government.

"After going through the document, our position remains that the budget proposal remains flawed beyond redemption, as we said earlier no amount of amendments can redeem this Bill," said former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

The opposition leaders criticised President William Ruto’s inaugural budget saying that he blindsided Kenyans with a few amendments of the controversial Finance Bill 2023 and maintained that the Bill should be withdrawn in its entirety.

"We believe our country will function better when we strengthen the middle class. This budget will kill the middle class and when we kill the middle class then we hurt millions of our people," the former governor said in a statement he read on behalf of Azimio.

Although they did not give details of the planned parallel budget, the content and when it will be released, the team said it will go through the 47 counties for public participation.

Azimio said their budget will outline issues that the government ought to have considered to avoid over-taxation.

The leaders said they will incorporate the promises they made in their Azimio manifesto that would have lowered the cost of living.

"Kenyans will soon have their budget as we believe in a rights-based budget," they said.

Oparanya assured that the parallel budget will empower the private sector and create an enabling environment for manufacturing.

Azimio leaders called on Kenya Kwanza MPs to reject the Bill that is "dividing" Kenyans.

“We now appeal to you the Kenya Kwanza MPs, we know that in your heart you know the Bill is wrong. We urge you to join your Azimio counterparts and stand with Kenyans,” Oparanya said.

Further the leaders said Kenyans should be ready for the next course of action that will be announced soon

Asked whether they will de-whip or punish MPs who will vote in favor of the Bill the Azimio leadership said they believe in democracy.