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WHY AZIMIO MPS HURRIEDLY WITHDREW THEIR FINANCE BILL AMENDMENTS

The Finance Bill 2024 has sailed through the third reading stage after Azimio MPs withdrew their proposed amendments.

Angry protesters stormed into Parliament and set it on fire after 195 MPs voted in favor, 106 against, and 3 were split. The Bill now awaits Presidential consent to sign it into law.

Why did the Azimio MPs Withdraw their Amendments?

The Azimio Coalition withdrew their proposed amendment, instead unanimously rejecting the contentious Finance Bill 2024.

In a press conference held on Monday evening after an Azimio meeting, Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi explained their stance.

“We had extensive deliberation yesterday as Azimio. We withdrew the amendments because it would have been an exercise in futility and a means to sanitize the Finance Bill process,”

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MPs during a Parliament Session

What Finance Bill Amendments did Azimio Propose?

Azimio had proposed 37 tax amendmentsy. These included removing:

  • Removing the Eco levy on imported products like sanitary towels and diapers
  • Blocking the intended increase in the fuel levy, which would raise fuel prices by Sh 7 per liter
  • Prohibiting beneficiaries from selling houses acquired under the affordable housing scheme.
  • Eliminating the proposed digital tax on creative works and content creation
  • Removing the proposed 16% VAT on bread, sugar transportation, financial services, and foreign exchange transactions
  • Eliminating the 2.5 percent Motor Vehicle Tax.

13 Azimio MPs wrote to National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula, asking to withdraw their proposals.

And Minority Whip Junet Mohammed, Ruaraka MP T.J. Kajwang, and Nominated MP John Mbadi, withdrew their amendments on the floor of the House

“Out of the 37 amendments, 13 have been withdrawn. I have been asked by Hon Kajwang that he wishes to withdraw the amendments.” Wetangula stated.

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Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo added, “Mr. Speaker, thank you for your guidance. I have no amendments because I took the position that you cannot amend a bad bill.”

Minority Whip Junet Mohammed insisted that lawmakers should be given an opportunity to withdraw their amendments on the floor of the House.

During the briefing, Wandayi strongly condemned the kidnappings of vocal Anti-Finance Bill Gen Z members such as Gabriel Oguda, He demanded their immediate and unconditional release.

Azimio MPs reject the Finance Bill. Source: KBC | YouTube.

By Vivian K.

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