President Uhuru Kenyatta to address the nation over 16pc fuel tax


FILE PHOTO | President Uhuru Kenyatta and Treasury CS Henry Rotich at State House.
FILE PHOTO | President Uhuru Kenyatta and Treasury CS Henry Rotich at State House.

In Summary

  • On August 29, MPs voted to amend the Finance Bill 2018 and suspend the fuel tax for another two years.
  • The President however left the country the next day for a ten-day trip overseas; there was pressure at the time for him to return home and sign the Bill suspending the 16percent VAT.
  • Critics later accused him of remaining mum over the issue and "sneaking back" into the country without indicating the way forward.
  • On Thursday, as he announced changes in the police force, Kenyans also expected him to make his position known in regards to the fuel tax but he did not.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to address the nation on Friday over the controversial 16percent fuel tax that was recently implemented.

In a statement to newsrooms late Thursday night, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena revealed that the move follows talks with Parliamentary leadership.

Also Read:All eyes on Uhuru as Speaker forwards Finance Bill

“Following consultation with the leadership of the National Assembly on the 16percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on all petroleum products, President Uhuru Kenyatta will tomorrow Friday 14th September 2018 address the nation,” the statement reads.

On August 29, Members of Parliament voted to amend the Finance Bill 2018 and suspend the fuel tax for another two years.

The President however left the country the next day for a ten-day trip overseas; there was pressure at the time for him to return home and sign the Bill suspending the 16percent VAT.

Critics later accused him of remaining mum over the issue and “sneaking back” into the country without indicating the way forward.

Also Read: Uhuru makes low key return after 10-day overseas trip

On Thursday, as he announced changes in the police force, Kenyans also expected him to make his position known in regards to the fuel tax.

However, it later emerged that that Parliament had not even presented to the Finance Bill to him so his hands “were tied.”

It is only on Thursday evening that State House confirmed that the Bill was now in the hands of the President.

“The Speaker of the National Assembly has today the September 13th, delivered the vellum on the financial bill (National Assembly Bill no.20 of 2018) for consideration by the President,” said Kanze Dena in a statement to newsrooms.

The decision that the President has made or will make over the fuel tax issue still remains unclear even as the country anticipates his address later on Friday.

The implementation of the fuel tax as directed by Treasury CS Henry Rotich on September 1 caused public uproar with a section of Kenyans seeking the intervention of the courts to suspend it.

New prices released on the same day saw Nairobi motorists forced to cough up Ksh.127.80 and Mombasa Ksh.124.49 for super petrol .

The highest price for super petrol was announced for Mandera at Ksh.141.61. Diesel prices were hiked to Ksh.115.08 while a litre of Kerosene now costs Ksh97.41 in Nairobi.

A section of traders and dealers would later stage a go-slow resulting in a massive fuel shortage across the country.

It is only after several warnings from government and the fuel regulatory body that the strike was called off and transport of the commodity resumed albeit under tight security.

Also ReadHeavy police presence at Industrial Area depot after fuel shortage

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Story By Rachel Ombaka
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