BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,14TH SEPT 2018-Hard economic times facing Kenyans especially after the imposed 16% vat on Petroleum products are here to last after President Uhuru on Thursday evening rejected the Finance Bill 2018 which the country was waiting for with baited breath .
A storm emerged in the national assembly Earlier on after Speaker Justin Muturi was accused of deliberately sitting on the Bill.
The President’s rejection of the Bill now puts to rest the ongoing stalemate over the 16 per cent VAT on fuel. Minority Leader John Mbadi had on Thursday described Mr Muturi’s action as “unfortunate and dishonest”.
Members were agitated with Gwasi member of parliament saying inquiries at the clerk’s office show that the Bill was concluded for forwarding to the President a week ago but it had been lying at Mr Muturi’s office since then.
The revelation had fanned fear that the government had been using delaying tactics regarding the controversial tax which has been a subject of a public uproar for the last two weeks.
There are no time-lines in law for Parliament to forward the Bill to the President once passed by MPs. The law only stipulates that the President’s assent to a Bill must be done within 14 days of receipt or return it to Parliament with a memorandum failing which it automatically becomes law.
“It is unfortunate that despite Parliament approving the Finance Bill, 2018, exactly two weeks ago today, the same has not been forwarded to the President for assent,” he said. But the president’s action now puts to rest the matter.However it is not clear why the President declined to sign the bill by MPs who had wanted the implementation of unpopular VAT increment put on hold for two years.