MPs vow to resolve fuel crisis as Uhuru returns

President expected to assent or reject Finance Bill 2018 which sought to stop implementation of VAT law

 Alvin Mwangi and DPPS

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s return after a week-long absence is expected to provide a way forward on the 16 per cent Value Added Tax debate once he gives his position on the matter.

Focus now turns to the President, who is expected to either assent to or reject the amendment to the Finance Bill 2018, which sought to stop the implementation of the increment.

This comes as Jubilee-allied legislators said yesterday they will hold a parliamentary group meeting to help resolve the current fuel prices crisis. The leaders said they would also consult with the Executive to lessen the burden on Kenyans without compromising the government’s development agenda.

The MPs spoke even as  reports also indicated that Treasury was planning a high-level meeting on the matter. The meeting is expected to bring together stakeholders in the sector.

Last week, the High Court in Bungoma stopped the implementation of the 16 per cent Value Added Tax increase on fuel.

Amondi Akoth, the lawyer who moved to court  to challenge the implementation of the increment yesterday said he will return to court this morning to sue Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich for contempt of court,  claiming the two have failed to adjust prices, yet he had served them with the ruling.

Meanwhile, Deputy President has assured Kenyans that the taxes collected by the government will be prudently used in transforming the nation.

He said the Jubilee administration had proven to be a responsible regime in the use and management of the country’s resources, saying all monies spent on development projects in the last six years can be accounted for and verified independently.

“We can demonstrate in facts and figures that this country has changed for better,” he said.

Ruto said the government will revive coffee farming in Central Kenya by supporting farmers.

Speaking at Gikondi Catholic Church in Nyeri county during mass, Ruto said this time round, coffee, tea and avocado will be processed before being sold for farmers to fetch more and create employment opportunities for the youths. Leaders present included MPs Kanini Kega (Kieni), Anthony Kiai (Mukurwe-ini), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), James Gichuhi (Tetu), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Gideon Keter (Nominated), Alice Wahome (Kandara), Japheth Mutai (Bureti), Rahab Mukami (Nyeri Women’s Rep), Senators Ephraim Maina (Nyeri) and Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet). Murkomen   appealed to politicians to stop politicising the new tax levied on fuel, saying that Kenyans were more interested in solutions to their problems than populist politics.

Murkomen urged leaders to focus on getting a lasting solution to the issue, saying that the 16 per cent levy on fuel was an issue that can “easily be solved by legislators because “the country’s budget is our responsibility”.

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