Why NASA Supported Uhuru's VAT Proposal

  • Details have emerged explaining the two major considerations that led to the decision by the NASA coalition to support President Uhuru Kenyatta's 8% value-added tax proposal for petroleum products.

    Insiders conveyed that Opposition leader Raila Odinga held a meeting with five key allies who convinced him to support the proposal because of 2022 politics and its implication on repayment of debts Kenya has accumulated.

    A source that spoke to The Standard conveyed that support for Uhuru's plan would act as a bargaining chip ahead of the 2022 General election.

    "We know the President is retiring but still has his support base. In case we have a candidate, we will call upon him and his supporters to back our candidate," the source conveyed.

    The source further explained that the Opposition had considered remaining firm on its initial position but realised that the president would still find a way to implement the changes without their support.

    "We are aware the Government is broke and even if we oppose Uhuru's plan, he could still find his way to fill the budget deficit.

    "This way, the public debt will continue increasing and earning higher interest which Kenyans will still pay in the future. That’s why we'll support, but with conditions," the source explained.

    Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna confirmed that he was part of the private meeting held at Capitol Hill along with Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, ODM Chairman John Mbadi and Oduor Ong'wen.

    He added that before meeting with their party leader they had met with economy experts who advised that the team support the changes.

    "Each one of us presented their views based on consultations with economic experts who had advised us it was better to start paying the debt now than in future when it will be costly. We decided to support the new taxes with heavy hearts," he explained.