Governors lament as MPs give Rotich 72 hours to scrap off fuel levy

Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho,Joho has called on the president to reconsider the decision to implement the levy on fuel prices PHOTO FILE

Nairobi,KENYA: A section of governors and Members of parliament have expressed outrage over the hiked prices of fuel.

Led by the Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho the leaders called on the government to reconsider the decision to place a levy on fuel.

“Our people are already overburdened by difficult economic circumstances like low incomes unemployment and inflation. This would further worsen their livelihoods” Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho said in a statement.

Governors from Mount Kenya under (central Kenya economic block) are now calling for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention on the crises revolving around the increase of fuel price witnessed in the recent two days after the implementation of the law by the Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich.

Led by their chairman Francis Kimemia who is also Nyandarua governor,  the block which consists of  of 10 governors that include; Kirinyaga County Governor Ann Waiguru, Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi, Tharaka Nithi county Muthomi Njoki, Nderitu Mureithi of Laikipia County and Francis Kimemia of Nyandarua county, Nyeri county Mutahi Kahiga, Mwangi wa Iria of Muranga county, Ferdinand Waititu of Kiambu and Martin Wambora of Embu County, the governors said they believe that  the introduction of the law on fuel price will affect the people downwards in terms of welfare.

Kimemia said it’s a paradox to increasing fuel at this particular time when Kenya has just started exporting its oil.

” Our incomes are very low in the county, so we have had cries of our people pleading with national government especially with president Uhuru Kenyatta that when he comes back from China, he reviews the tax that is too high and will affect our people fundamentally in terms of welfare and would like it to be reduced” Said Kimemia.

Kirinyaga governor who was present in the meeting urged the treasury to go back to the drawing board and relook at the physical and monetary policy it holds, then come up with an alternative way of generating money since, in the economics, there is always an alternative.

She argued that, with the new policy by the Treasury, it will not only increase the cost of living to the people but also hinder economic growth.

This comes even after a section of Orange Democratic Movement ODM, legislators led by Mathare MP Anthony Oluoch gave Cs Rotich 72 hours to scrap the new fuel levy.

The parliamentarian threatened to impeach Rotich if he did not comply with their demands.

Their Jubilee counterparts have not been left behind in calling on the CS to reconsider the decision.

In a media briefing at parliamentary buildings, led by Nandi Hills member of parliament Alfred Keter and Butere mp Tindi Mwale said that following the fact that Treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich signed the bill implementing the 16 percent as from 31st September 2018, there is need for the government to chip in and salvage Kenyans from this issue which they insist that will make life of Kenyans difficult.

They blasted the government for massive borrowing amounting to five trillion which has occasioned to the current situation urging the government to re-evaluate its pace on external borrowing; to avert further economic pressures.

They accused Rotich of disregarding parliament’s move of executing the derailment of implementation of the tax threatening to propose sanctions to cabinet secretaries who disregard house decisions which are for the goodwill Kenyan people.

They called on leaders to come together and embrace unity in dealing with the issue which they say has negative effects to the country.

They too urged the government to seal tax evasion loopholes to enhance the collection of taxes and lifestyle audit to permit some people to return the funds to the public.

“There are many who are doing tax evasion of up to a tune of sh. 150 billion a year, unless we do it with urgency as it deserves we will lose it  as a country,”Keter said.

Additional reporting by Michael Mbugua and Janet Murikira