This year’s budget presentation by National Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich lacked the glamour of yesteryear, with a good number of legislators giving the event a wide berth.
This is unlike in the past when MPs trooped to the Chamber to listen to the critical statement. The seemingly unmoved legislators only reacted when Rotich announced 10 per cent increase to 30 per cent in excise duty on private vehicles exceeding 2500cc (diesel-powered vehicles) and 3000cc (petrol-powered).
The MPs, known for driving fuel guzzlers, jeered in protest against the new tax.
And the CS announced yet another new tax of five per cent for those sending Sh500,000 via mobile money transfer, MPs protested, forcing National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to ask them to do so in hushed tonnes.
“If you decide to applaud or protest, do so for at least 10 seconds,” Muturi said amid laughter from legislators.Earlier, Rotich accompanied by other Treasury seniors officials, arrived at Parliament clad in a black suit with a rose pinned on the lapel as is tradition and was welcomed by the House Budget committee officials and experts.
With his official briefcase containing the speech, Rotich entered the Chamber at exactly 3.25pm and sat on the left side of the Speaker.
He was then introduced by Muturi who before then took the opportunity to inform the lawmakers that the CS would be heard uninterrupted as Standing Orders demand.
Treasury Principal secretary Kamua Thugge and Chief Administrative Secretary Nelson Gaichuhie accompanied the CS. Other CSs also attended the session.