, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 14 – National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has convened a special sitting of MPs next Tuesday and Thursday after President Uhuru Kenyatta rejected the Finance Bill 2018 with reservations.
In a Special Gazette Notice, Muturi recalled MPs from their month-long recess for two sittings where he is to notify them “of the message from the President in respect of his reservations to the Finance Bill, 2018 pursuant to Article 115 of the Constitution and Supplementary Estimates, 2018.”
Now that the President has sent it back to National Assembly, MPs will require two-thirds majority vote or 232 MPs to overturn the presidential veto.
The Bill was passed 14 days ago by MPs after the Minority Chief Whip successfully moved an amendment meant to suspend 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products until September 2020 to cushion Kenyans from the high cost of living.
However, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich effected the tax on September 1 leading to an increase in fuel prices.
The other option is for the Jubilee Party dominated-House to agree with the President’s reservations and pass the Bill a second time.
The Speaker shall then re-submit it again to the President for assent.
Meanwhile, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena has said the Head of State is expected to make public his reasons for rejecting the Bill when he addresses the nation on Friday.
“Following consultation with the leadership of the National Assembly on the 16 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on all petroleum products, President Uhuru Kenyatta will tomorrow Friday, 14th September 2018, address the Nation,” read a brief statement from Dena.
VAT was first introduced on petrol, diesel, kerosene and jet fuel in the VAT Act of 2013, with a three-year grace period that would have seen it come into force in 2016 when it was once again deferred to September 2018.