Azimio Bars MPs from Travel to Ensure Full Attendance for Finance Bill Report Presentation

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (life) and National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) and National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi.
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Azimio

National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi revealed that Azimio la Umoja Coalition barred all its Members of the National Assembly from traveling abroad before Tuesday next week.

Speaking to the press on Thursday shortly after witnessing the reading of the budget in Parliament, Wandayi noted that the coalition was keen on ensuring all its members participated in the voting of the Finance Bill.

Finance Committee Chairperson Kuria Kimani revealed that the bill, which had been subjected to public participation, will be presented to Parliament on Tuesday.

"As Azimio, we have said that the Committee on Finance had its time in listening to the views of Kenyans and other stakeholders," he stated.

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National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi speaking during Azimio-One Kenya Parliamentary Group meeting on April 23, 2024.
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Opiyo Wandayi

"We are giving them time until Monday. When they come back to the house on Tuesday with a report, we expect it to reflect the feelings and views of Kenyans that were presented before them.."

Wandayi, however, explained that the opposition had tasked the committee to ensure that it incorporates views from Kenyans and other stakeholders without which its members have been directed to shoot it down.

"If the report does not reach our expectations, then as Azimio, we are going to mobilise to reject that bill but this time around, we shall do something different," he added.

"First, All MPs in the National Assembly have been put on notice that they have to be physically present at the time of the debate and voting on the Finance Bill. As a matter of fact, we have asked our members not to engage in any unnecessary travel outside the country."

The lawmaker further revealed that so serious was its condition before passing the bill that sick MPs will also be required to make Parliamentary appearance.

He further noted that the opposition was already reaching out to Kenya Kwanza MPs who were also opposed to the bill to ensure it is not approved.

"Those of us who may be unlucky to be unwell, we shall pull them out of their hospital beds to come and vote. But we want to go beyond that, we want to engage our colleagues who are not in Azimio. There are Kenya Kwanza MPs who have been speaking against the bill in the field, we want them to put that talk into practice," he insisted.

His utterance comes at a time phone numbers of lawmakers leaked exposing them to thousands of text messages and calls from irate Kenyans demanding the bill be pulled down.

Mumias East MP Peter Salasya revealed that he received over 5,000 messages while National Assembly Majority Whip Sylvanus Osoro got 3,000 messages.

Since the onset, the Kenyan public has expressed its dissatisfaction with a slew of new and increased taxes contained in the bill and sent their messages in droves with one message, 'Reject the bill'.

Visit our Thursday edition of the Evening Brief Newsletter for the coverage of the phone numbers leak.

Parliamentary Finance Committee Chair Kuria Kimani addresses a gathering of accountants on May 22, 2024
Parliamentary Finance Committee Chair Kuria Kimani addresses a gathering of accountants on May 22, 2024
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Kuria Kimani