Kenya: Withdraw the Finance Bill and Apologize – Odinga to President Ruto

Nairobi — Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Leader Raila Odinga has implored his erstwhile rival President William Ruto to withdraw the contentious Finance Bill 2023 immediately.

Odinga has asked President Ruto’s administration to commence the process of formulating the tax bill afresh and to further seek forgiveness and apology to the common Mwananchi following the agitation the bill has erupted.

The Finance Committee is expected to table the bill in the National Assembly next Tuesday, days before the budgeting reading having undergone public participation.

“We ask Ruto to humble himself, withdraw this bill and offer an apology and seek forgiveness from Kenyans from the anxiety caused and begin afresh,” he said.

Despite losing out in numbers in the National Assembly to defeat the Finance Bill, the Azimio Coalition is hopeful that lawmakers will vote to oppose the bill citing the tax burden Kenyans will bear if it sails through.

However, should the MPs vote along political party lines, Odinga has said they will move the tussle to the streets.

Odinga pointed out that the Kenya Kwanza Administration had resorted to threats to intimidate legislators to pass the Finance Bill.

“We have noted that the regime has ran out of sound bites and explanations for these proposals and has resorted to threats. But we have agreed with our MPs on what to do: vote against any tax rises,” Odinga stated.

“Should Ruto overrun the National Assembly, we will regroup and overrun him in the wider National Assembly of the whole people of Kenya,” he added.

The Azimio Coalition Leader spelled doom on the country in the event the Finance Bill passes with the proposal submitted by the National Treasury.

He cited that the move to amend laws relating to various taxes and duties such as the Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, Tax Procedures Act and Excise Duty Act will stifle the economic growth in the country.

“This Bill is economic sabotage. If Ruto insists on this Bill, this country will go into full recession.This Bill requires and must get fierce resistance,”Odinga noted.

Poking holes on the Housing Flagship Project by the government which will require employed Kenyans to part with 3 percent of their salary, Odinga termed it a fantasy dream.