Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo has offered to resign over the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)’s support for the 8% VAT on petroleum products, which was approved during a chaotic special sitting of the National Assembly.
After those opposed to the fuel tax failed to raise the requisite two thirds majority or support of 233 MPs amid apparent manipulation of the process both by parliamentary bureaucrats and the political leadership across the divide, Amollo took to Twitter to express his disgust.
MPs were forced to vote for the clause on fuel tax in the Finance Bill 2018, as proposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, after Speaker Justin Muturi discovered those present were more that the House membership. The electronic system indicated there were 252 MPs present while the National Assembly consists of 249 members.
Temporary Speaker Soipan Tuya also came under fire after declaring the Ayes had won while it was clear the Nays shouted more during voting by acclamation.
In the second vote, those in support carried the day as there were only 215 MPs present which meant the issue could not be taken to a vote.
“My Conscience is Clear! We said a Resounding No! The Speaker heard a YES! An August House Indeed!…Disgrace!” Amollo tweeted.
Matters took a turn for the worse when ODM leader Raila Odinga’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango challenged the MP to resign and seek a fresh mandate since his views were not consistent with those of the party.
As Onyango insisted on his stand despite one respondent taking issue with him given his position in the party, Amollo said he would take up the challenge if he is formally instructed to do so.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has already signed the Finance Bill 2018, which also, among others, enhances tax on airtime, internet bundles, M-Pesa and ATM transactions.
Speaking after signing the Bill, President Uhuru assured Kenyans that the money will be prudently used, saying he would sustain the war against corruption.
“I give my commitment that I will ensure proper utilisation of public resources for a better Kenya,” he said.
Here is a snapshot of the Twitter exchange: