Opposition MPs vow to shoot down Finance Bill

Speaker Moses Wetangula and Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa attend a burial in Navakholo on May 24, 2024. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja leaders from Western have vowed to shoot down the Finance Bill, 2024 in Parliament, stating that the legislation is punitive and oppressive to Kenyans.

The leaders urged Kenyans to oppose the bill in the ongoing public participation meetings even as National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula urged the legislators to stop antagonising Kenyans.

Speaking during the burial of Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe's mother, DAP-K party boss Eugene Wamalwa said the bill was punitive and if passed in its current form would hurt Kenyans.

"Kenya Kwanza government came with bottom up economic agenda promising to bring money in the pockets of wananchi but we don't understand whose pocket the money is getting into. Kenyans are crying and are already overtaxed, they are looking upon you MPs to say no to the Finance Bill 2024," said Wamalwa.

Kakamega County Woman Rep Elsie Muhanda said: "Tax on basic commodities such as bread is burdening our people and we are going to shoot down the bill when it comes to Parliament."

Bumula MP Jack Wamboka said Finance Bill, 2024 will hurt Kenyans who are already suffering from the high cost of living.

"The bill is oppressive and I am appealing to Kenyans to have that anger of 1992 and reject leaders who are not fighting for them, we have a country where the president is spending Sh200milion tax payer’s money on a private jet to the US while our JSS teachers and health workers are on strike, schools have no money and we want to add more burden to Kenyans,” said Wamboka.

Likuyani MP Innocent Mugabe said it is the responsibility of legislators to save Kenyans by opposing punitive laws.

"Let's stand with Kenyans on the Finance bill and speak with one voice, the proposals to add tax on basic commodities must be rejected in totality if we want to help Kenyans," said Mugabe.

Luanda MP Dick Maungu urged legislators to put aside their political differences and stand by the majority of Kenyans by opposing the bill.

"This is an important time as we await the budget reading. The Finance Bill 2023 was punitive and burdened Kenyans since basic commodities were increased. The Finance Bill 2024 must be looked into and issues addressed,” he said.

However, Kenya Kwanza affiliated members led by Ford-K Party boss Wetang'ula asked MPs to stop bothering Kenyans with what he described as baby cries yet they have the mandate to pass motions or reject.

"You (MPs) are capable of revoking any bill you feel is punitive. If you see the budget and distribution of resources is wrong, you know what to do in Parliament,” he said.

Nandi Hills MP Bernard Kitulu said the bill has not yet been tabled in Parliament and they should stop lying to Kenyans.