‘Save Kenyans from fuel V.A.T,’ Babu Owino tells President Kenyatta in open letter


'Save Kenyans from fuel V.A.T,' Babu Owino tells President Kenyatta in open ...
Embakasi East MP Babu Owino and President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTOS/COURTESY

In Summary

  • Mr. Owino has urged President Kenyatta to find innovative ways of reducing public expenditure and wastage instead of imposing high taxes on the common citizen.
  • The legislator further stated that the new levy on petroleum products was aimed at financing Kenya’s growing debt obligations.
  • He termed the new levy as illegal since parliament had previously voted to amend the Finance Bill and suspend the implementation of the proposed 16 percent Value Added Tax (V.A.T) on fuel.

Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to assent to the amendment of the Finance Bill 2018 and save Kenyan citizens from difficult times promised by the new fuel levy.

In an open letter to the Head of State posted via his social media pages on Monday, Mr. Owino urges President Kenyatta to find innovative ways of reducing public expenditure and wastage instead of imposing high taxes on the common citizen.

“I note that during your visit to the US, it was made public that your government is borrowing the sum equivalent of Ksh.450 billion for the construction of a six lane highway from Mombasa to Nairobi,” writes the former Students’ Organization of Nairobi University (SONU) boss in the letter.

“I further note that in your visit to China, your government has taken on a further Ksh.380 billion in debt for the construction of Phase 2A of the Standard Gauge Railway from Naivasha to Kisumu. This totals close to a trillion shillings in new debt in the span of ten days.”

The legislator further stated that the new levy on petroleum products was aimed at financing Kenya’s growing debt obligations, terming it illegal since parliament had previously voted to amend the Finance Bill and suspend the implementation of the proposed 16 percent Value Added Tax (V.A.T) on fuel.

“Parliament is the supreme law making organ of the land as per the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and as such any attempt by the Executive to levy a tax not approved by the August House is both illegal and unconstitutional,” notes Mr. Owino.

“I therefore take this opportunity to request you to assent to the Finance (Amendment) Bill 2018 and save our people from the difficult times such a tax promises.”

He further added: “We as Parliament have read the mood of the people and realized that the Bill as initially proposed would portend untold suffering amongst the most vulnerable in our society. Our people are already overburdened with the high cost of living. The introduction of such a tax at this time would only serve to make their lives more unbearable.”

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Story By Ian Omondi
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