Speaker Muturi defends Parliamentary Group meetings as VAT debate looms

September 19, 2018 4:54 pm
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The Speaker on Wednesday clarified that the sessions by the legislators and their party leaders are not avenues where lawmakers are dictated to by their party leaders to execute their demands insisting that the ‘notion is a laughable fallacy which must be stopped/MOSES MUOKI

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 19 – National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has reiterated the independence of Parliament saying the House is not an extension of the Executive.

Following Tuesday’s Jubilee Party and National Super Alliance (NASA) Parliamentary Group meetings where members were whipped to support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s proposals on the Finance Bill 2018, Muturi said MPs are not at the beck and call of the Executive.

“It is not unique to Kenyans… Parliamentary Group Meetings happen everywhere. It’s a norm and the same used to happen in the past and if the leader of the party sits at the State House what is the problem? asked Muturi.

His sentiments come at a time when the lawmakers have been sharply criticized for not fighting for their constituents on the issue on the fuel levy that has been imposed on petroleum products.

In his memorandum to Parliament, President Uhuru Kenyatta proposed a tax reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products from 16 per cent to eight percent among other recommendations.

The Speaker on Wednesday clarified that the sessions by the legislators and their party leaders are not avenues where lawmakers are dictated to by their party leaders to execute their demands insisting that the ‘notion is a laughable fallacy which must be stopped’.

“Where the meetings are held is not the issue but what is discussed is. Parliament exercises its sovereignty as it is required,” he said during the swearing-in ceremony of the Parliamentary Service Commission nominee Samuel Chepkonga at Parliament buildings.

MPs are on Thursday scheduled to hold another special sitting where they will debate the President’s reservations on the Finance Bill 2018 subsequently casting their vote on whether to approve or reject them.

Muturi said he is confident that MPs will exercise their independence tomorrow when the House votes on the Head of State’s reservations on the Finance Bill 2018.

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