Starehe MP, Amos Mwago, Reveals Blackmail and Threats Before Finance Bill Vote

MPs in Parliament during the Budget 2024 reading.
MPs in Parliament during the Budget 2024 reading.

The Starehe Member of Parliament Amos Mwago has revealed elements of blackmail and threats before voting on the Finance Bill 2024.

Mwago is among the 115 members who voted down the controversial Finance Bill 2024. 204 voted in favour of progressing the bill to the next stage.

Speaking during a morning talk show on Friday, Mwago said there were tremendous efforts to threaten and hoodwink members of the National Assembly to pass the bill.

He explained that the Treasury stated that failure to upvote or pass the bill would result in Members of Parliament experiencing cuts in the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) and other essential services the government provides.

"There were some elements of trying to blackmail the MPs. The budget-making process is not an event it is a process that entails a lot. It requires coordination between the Treasury, Budget Committee, and the Finance Committee," he said.

"But when these people were trying to draft these bills, they were acting like they were not in tandem with what they were doing, that is why they tried to blackmail us by bringing us Junior Secondary School cuts, medical interns, and Constituency Development Fund cuts."

National Treasury
The National Treasury building in Nairobi County.
National Treasury

Treasury warning to legislators of cash cuts cornered MPs to pass the bill to the next stage after an intense debate. This was despite countrywide protests from young people who rejected the bill.

Mwago reiterated that the move to threaten legislators to pass the bill elicited public emotions and public uproar.

The MP further noted the government was keen to lure Kenyans by introducing the last-minute amended excise duty on bread, and Eco Levy on vegetable oil through the Treasury CS.

The last amendment that preceded voting also saw the government rescinding the decision to impose a tax on both locally and internationally-manufactured diapers and sanitary towels.

National Assembly Finance Committee Chair Kuria Kimani stated on Tuesday that the newly proposed eco levy will only apply to imported finished products.

In the Thursday anti-finance bill protests, dozens were arrested across the country, leaving at least 39 injured according to the Kenya Red Cross.

Despite the protests, the controversial Finance Bill 2024 passed its second reading in the National Assembly.

The result has angered many Kenyans, particularly the youth, who have vowed to continue with the peaceful demonstrations in the coming days.

Finance Bill demonstrations in Kenya on June, 20, 2024.
Finance Bill demonstrations in Kenya on June 20, 2024.




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