NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – Ten Governors from Central Kenya are now urging President Uhuru Kenyatta to stem the rise in fuel tax following public outcry since the 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products came to effect on Saturday last week.
Addressing members of the press on Monday, Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia who is the Chairman of Central Kenya Economic Bloc said increase in the fuel levy will adversely affect citizens.
“We have heard cries from our people and we are pleading with the President to review the fuel tax when he comes back (from China) because it’s too high and I’m sure we share the same view with other blocs,” said Kimemia.
He said it is paradox that the fuel prices have gone up just after Kenya discovered oil in Turkana.
He lamented that already the cost off ploughing one hectare of land has gone up leaving farmers with almost zero returns.
This is the same case in the matatu sector where passengers have to dig deeper to pay for hiked fares.
Throwing weight behind him, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru said that the Treasury can explore alternative ways to raise revenue instead of burdening the taxpayer.
“This particular policy is going to be very restrictive even for economic growth meaning we will be stuck in this cycle of never improving in getting out of poverty. The Treasury should go back to the drawing board and come up with another policy because in economics, there is always an alternative,” said Waiguru.
She said that revenue can be raised by sealing all loopholes on revenue collection and deal with tax evasion.
As Kenyans await the return of President Kenyatta from his trip to China, leaders across the country continue to express their displeasure following the move by the Treasury to increase the prices on petroleum products.
The governors also urged the Treasury to look at the debt burden and its implications for the future generations.