We'll pass Finance Bill despite opposition, Kenya Kwanza lawmakers insist

A session ongoing at the National Assembly Chambers, Parliament Buildings

A session ongoing at the National Assembly Chambers, Parliament Buildings on April, 26, 2023. Kenyans have written to Parliament with critiques on the proposed Finance Bill 2023.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Allies of President William Ruto have downplayed sentiments that the government is facing a litmus test in Parliament over the Finance Bill, 2023 as MPs gear up to consider the proposed legislation when they resume sittings on June 6.

Despite having the numbers in the National Assembly, the consideration of the Bill will provide an opportunity for President Ruto to prove that he has control over Parliament.

The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party has already declared that it will oppose the Bill in the House, portending a showdown between the President’s troops and those of Azimio leader Raila Odinga in the House.

During last Tuesday’s Kenya Kwanza Parliamentary Group meeting at State House in Nairobi, Nation has learnt that MPs expressed concern over a number of proposals in the Bill such as the National Housing Development Fund, which they termed as unpopular and difficult to explain to their constituents.

The MPs said with the high cost of living Kenyans are currently grappling with, there is need to explain the Bill in plain language to the citizens.

There were concerns that Mr Odinga is now taking advantage of the Bill and speaking the language of the ordinary person and the messaging is resonating well with the people who formed the largest block of Kenya Kwanza supporters during campaigns.

Deputy Majority Leader Owen Baya, however, exuded confidence that Kenya Kwanza MPs will vote to the last man for the Bill alongside 10MPs from the Opposition.

“When it comes to voting, we will score 100 per cent. We actually have 10 MPs in Azimio who will support the Bill. The PG was unanimous that we need to give the President an opportunity to use local revenues to rescue the economy,” Mr Baya said.