Parliament Issues New Directive Over Increased Fuel Prices

  • Justin Muturi
    National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi
  • A petition was brought before the National Assembly to look into the recent fuel price hike that has sent the nation into fury.

    The document received by the House Speaker was filed by Anthony Manyara and John Wangai calling for "urgent repeal of Section 13 of the Finance Act 2018.

    According to the petitioners, this will address the drastic increase in prices of petroleum and petroleum products through the abolition of the currently prescribed 8% Value Added Tax.

    During a session on Tuesday, September 21, Speaker Justin Muturi stated that the matter was urgent and directed the Finance Committee to submit a report in 14 days.

    Lawmakers seated in Parliament
    Lawmakers seated in Parliament.

    "The petitions aver that all taxpayers and consumers of petroleum and petroleum products have been adversely impacted by the law which they term as draconian."

    "This is a matter that squarely and exclusively falls within the authority and mandate of the National Assembly as espoused in at least five provisions of the Constitution," Muturi stated

    The Speaker directed the committee to "table its report within 14 days in view of the urgency of the matter and in consideration of the effects it has on the populace".

    Further, he directed the Finance Committee to attach a draft bill to the report for any approval for publication proposing legislative intervention by the National Assembly as sought by the petitioners.

    MPs questioned why the government was silent over the matter as Kenyans struggled to get their lives back together following the financial effects of the pandemic.

    The lawmakers challenged the Finance Committee to expedite their report in order for the House to deliberate and resolve the fuel crisis now and in future.

    Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo castigated the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) for turning against the mwananchi it was formed to protect by increasing fuel prices immensely.

    Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa also challenged lawmakers to amend Article 115 (4) that gives the President veto powers to legislate noting that the situation Kenya is in today was brought about by a directive by the Head of State.

    House Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya also added his voice on the matter stating: "If we are making any adjustments to the fuel levy it means that Kenya Roads Board would obviously receive less, which means each constituency will then be allocated less money for the maintenance of the roads and the choice then has to be between driving on a debilitated road and having cheaper fuel or expensive fuel but on a smoother road.” 

    MPs Kimani Ichungwa and Ndindi Nyoro accompanying John Nguguna for his Swearing-In on August 4 2021
    MPs Kimani Ichungwa and Ndindi Nyoro accompanying John Nguguna for his Swearing-In on August 4 2021