MPs snub meeting to discuss fuel price hike

Members of Parliament yesterday snubbed a kamukunji (informal sitting) convened to discuss a new legislation on how to discipline Cabinet secretaries who disrespect Parliament.

Only four MPs showed up for the meeting despite members who had convened it, claiming they had mobilised more than 150 colleagues.

The meeting was occasioned by, among other things, National Treasury Henry CS Rotich’s move to  implement a 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products despite the National Assembly voting to suspend the new tax last week.

One of the conveners, Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter said members had resolved to shelve the kamukunji idea and instead set up a committee of 20 to formulate the agenda of the informal meeting to be held at a later date.

He, however, did not divulge more details on the same.

Legislators opposed to the Kamukunji said it would not change anything, since the fate of the Finance Bill, which contains the amendments seeking to delay the imposition of fuel VAT, lies in the hands of the President.

“The idea to call for any meeting to discuss the Finance Bill is misplaced since the matter is no longer in the hands of the Legislature,” said Eldas MP Adan Keynan.

Leader of Minority John Mbadi, while dismissing the calls for a meeting by his colleagues, said the matter was beyond MPs and urged them to wait for the President’s return to the country to act on the bill.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is in China for the China-Africa meeting.

Meanwhile, CS Rotich is set to meet the National Assembly’s  Budget Committee when he jets back from China where he is accompanying the President.

A source told People Daily the CS will be meeting committee chair Kimani Ichung’wa to inform him on the planned cut of  budgetary allocations to ministries should he suspend the fuel VAT.

“Rotich will be briefing the committee on the areas he will be touching to raise money to fund his budget in place of the fuel VAT which has been condemned by many,” said an MP who did not want to be named.

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