Opposition to meet over rejected finance bill - Daily Nation
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Opposition MPs to meet over rejected finance bill.

Friday September 14 2018

John Mbadi

National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi. He on September 14 said that the Opposition will hold a meeting to decide on the rejected finance bill. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By KAZUNGU SAMUEL
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By WACHIRA MWANGI
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The Opposition will hold a parliamentary group (PG) meeting on Tuesday to decide on the rejected finance bill that was to defer implementation of Value Added Tax on fuel that has made transport costs soar.

Leader of Minority in the National Assembly John Mbadi said in Mombasa on Friday that the meeting will precede the afternoon session when the bill is expected back in Parliament as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta when he rejected it on Thursday evening.

TAKE STAND

“As Opposition, we are going to have a PG meeting on Tuesday morning to agree on the stand to take based on the recommendations from the President.

“If they are reasonable, we shall accept them but if they are not, then we shall take a position that will be against the President’s position,” Mr Mbadi said after a retreat for editors and Parliament at Serena Beach Hotel in Mombasa.

The MP further said he was not sure whether the President had rejected the VAT proposal on petroleum products.

“The indications I am getting is that he might have been in agreement with Parliament and I am being speculative here but there are other suggestions that he has probably put and wants to be acted upon by Parliament.

“So it is not easy to know the mood. But as leader of minority, I have an obligation and responsibility to whip our members on a particular direction once we agree on that position and hence the parliamentary group meeting that will precede the sitting on Tuesday afternoon,” said Mr Mbadi.

He also said that there was a proposal to bring a supplementary budget, which he said is also wrongly timed.

SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET

“I am told that there is a proposal to bring in a supplementary budget. I have issues on that because we don’t have to bring it now. The law on public finance management and even our Constitution on supplementary budget is very clear. The government can adjust the budget within the confines of the law and report to Parliament in two months.

“There is no hurry, there is no emergency and the executive is reacting emotionally and that should not be the case at the moment,” said the Suba South MP.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi remained tight-lipped and declined to reveal the contents of the memorandum attached to the finance bill that was rejected by President Kenyatta on Thursday evening, citing parliamentary procedure rules and regulations.

Instead, Mr Muturi said that Kenyans will get to know its details when Parliament convenes on Tuesday as ordered by the President.

“I know Kenyans are eager to know why the President rejected the bill. But as you know I am the custodian of the House rules and regulations.

I cannot pre-empt the details before the members get to know. I want to assure Kenyans that they will know beginning Tuesday,” he said.

The two leaders spoke on the sidelines of an ongoing retreat between media stakeholders and Parliament at Serena Beach hotel on Friday.

Earlier when he officiated the opening of the retreat, Mr Muturi said Parliament has made tremendous progress in opening doors for the media to work without restrictions.

He said that live coverage of Parliament proceedings has brought the house closer to the public.

"We have been able to meet and tackle issues of promoting good governance and the cooperation between media and Parliament has enhanced public trust,” he said, adding that the media has a great role in creating public confidence.