Nairobi, KENYA: There was chaos in parliament following a disputed session that saw MP’s fail to overturn the proposed 8% VAT on fuel.
Trouble started when the MPs alleged that during the voting exercise, the chair of the house Soipan Tuya indicated that the vote was yes with a section of legislators disputing her declaration.
This led to an MPs threshold puzzle which led to a bitter dispute on whether parliament had reached a threshold of 233 forcing the house to go into a division with a section of MPs vehemently opposing the decision.
It also emerged that a constitutional parliament is supposed to have 349 MPs yet screens in parliament were displaying a total of 352 MPs prompting the speaker of the house Justin Muturi to call for investigations into the matter.
The development too prompted the speaker to suspend the earlier vote to allow the IT department to ascertain the claims of the total number of MPs in the house as per the constitution and the total number of MPs who were in the house during voting to ascertain the composition of a quorum
The fifteen minutes gave a leeway to MPs who were championing for the zero fuel rate to chant in the parliamentary precincts whereby they were heard saying zero, zero, zero.
Upon completion, the fifteen minutes break Muturi said that the official number of MPs who were in the house were 115 thus giving the president Uhuru Kenyatta ‘s memoranda on 8 percent fuel levy an avenue to triumph.
Majority leader Aden Duale and opposition chief whip in parliament Junet Mohammed had earlier rallied MPs to vote for the 8 percent fuel levy reservations executed by president Uhuru Kenyatta on the 2018 Finance amendment bill.
Speaking during the initial debate at parliamentary buildings the duo said that there is the need for the house to strike a balance between the developmental projects of the government and the welfare of Wananchi.
Kilifi North legislator Owen Baya and his Garsen counterpart Ali Wario said that they opposed the bill following the fact that some funds for hardship areas have been cut.
Consequently, HomaBay legislator Peter Kaluma said that he will back the bill after it emerged that Judiciary funds will be increased to Fastrack backlog of cases in the institution.
This means that the 8% vat proposed by president Uhuru Kenyatta on fuel will be applied.